South Dakota State News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday August 25, 2022

CONTACT: Deni Amundson, Build Dakota Scholarship Fund, 605-347-1804

464 students have been awarded the Build Dakota Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year

PIERRE, SD — The eighth cohort of Build Dakota Scholarship Fund students will begin classes this month, helping fill the critical labor gap for South Dakota.

Build Dakota aims to help students entering needy labor programs at South Dakota technical colleges fill the state’s technical career fields with qualified professionals. The scholarships cover tuition and fees, books, equipment, and other related program expenses for eligible programs in nine high-need industry sectors at South Dakota’s four technical colleges.

Students of all ages, in-state and out-of-state, can apply. Scholarship applicants must be accepted into their approved program of interest. Scholarship recipients must enroll full-time, complete their degree program on time, and commit to staying in South Dakota to work in their field of study for three years after graduation. diploma.

This year, over 80% of scholarship recipients are supported by an industry partner, which means these students are guaranteed a job upon graduation. Industry partners provide matching scholarship dollars. In return, students agree to work for the industrial partner for three years after graduation. With the labor recruiting challenges facing businesses across the state and nation, Build Dakota provides security and stability for companies investing in their workforce through the Industry Partnership Program.

Each technical college operates its own industry partnership program, working with local businesses and economic development organizations to find future employment opportunities for Build Dakota Fellows in high-need labor areas. This cohort is supported by more than $3.1 million in funding from industry partners across the state.

Click here to access the full list of this year’s Build Dakota Scholarship winners.

Applications for the 2023-24 school year open in January 2023. Learn more about the Build Dakota Scholarship visit


About Build Dakota: The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 with a $25 million gift from local philanthropist T. Denny Sanford and a matching contribution from the South Dakota Future Fund. The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund exists to fill a critical labor shortage in career fields where there is a skills gap between available labor and hiring requirements. Since its inception, more than 2,800 students have had the opportunity to graduate debt-free and enter the South Dakota workforce. In 2020, an additional $20 million has been invested to keep the program running and support students for another five years or more.

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