Creating a high quality workforce in South Dakota was the main message at the Governor's Luncheon in Rapid City.
Governor Dennis Daugaard, (R-SD), reviewed the points he made at his State of the State Address, with a focus on preparing students for the future through dual-credit opportunities. Dual-credit courses allow students to earn both primary or high school credit along with post-secondary credit.
Daugaard says students who take dual-credit courses are more likely to be successful in the future.
In his proposed budget, he has allocated a $5 million grant toward Career and Technical Education (or CTE) programs for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Daugaard says the job market will benefit from giving students this educational foundation."If South Dakota students have come from South Dakota, and go to post-secondary training in South Dakota, 70-80 % of those students stay in South Dakota to work," said Daugaard. "If they come from out of state, only about 30% of the people stay to work."
Dr. Tim Mitchell, Rapid City School District superintendent, says he supports the governor's plan. He says these types of grants are crucial for the technical education of students in the Black Hills region.
And he Mitchell says it's the school district's responsibility for growing student talent and making competitors in the job market. "And so that's our part, that regular South Dakotans complete their K-12 education and are ready for the next step, so they can become quality workers in South Dakotan environment, and they stay in South Dakota," said Mitchell.
Daugaard says he is also focused on making these dual-credit courses affordable for all students.