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Communities, Counties Awarded Grant

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Three South Dakota communities and two South Dakota counties have been awarded workforce development dollars through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The grants are expected to train 220 individuals in high-demand career fields. Officials say there are approximately 800 such job openings in South Dakota.

Mitchell, Vermillion and Yankton, as well as Codington and Minnehaha counties will receive a combined $498,620 to assist with $664,440 of total combined project costs.

“I’m delighted to see the workforce development element of the CDBG program spring into action,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “This was a change to the program we made when the South Dakota Workforce Initiatives (SD WINS) was launched earlier this year. Filling our workforce needs in South Dakota is a priority for everyone, and I’m optimistic the effort will be successful.”

The awards are allocated as follows:

• Mitchell was awarded $107,500 to train 32 individuals at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy (MCTEA). The focus of the training is on welding, and grant funds will provide more open slots in the program. The MCTEA program is designed to complement courses at Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) and is primarily aimed at high school students.

• Vermillion is using its $32,500 to expand its Welding Boot Camp Program, which is a partnership with Masaba Mining Equipment and the Vermillion School District. Grant dollars will be used to purchase additional equipment, which will allow for larger class sizes and the training of 56 additional individuals. The 35-hour welding course includes steel cutting methods, shop safety, math skills and various welds used in local manufacturing.

• Yankton is working to recruit individuals to manufacturing jobs in the Yankton area and south-central region of South Dakota. The $107,500 grant will purchase a mobile training unit (MTU) to haul industrial grade equipment that will be used to help train 20 dislocated workers, unemployed individuals, under employed adults, high school students and upgrade the skills of currently employed workers.

• Codington County will use its $131,120 to train 92 individuals in an 11-county region at Lake Area Technical Institute. The training will be for welding, machine operating, electronics and for jobs requiring commercial driver’s license (CDL) certification.

• Minnehaha County is working with Training Solutions Institute, through its business and industry training division at Southeast Technical Institute, to expand its CDL program. The $120,000 will be used to purchase a new semi and training for 20 individuals.

For more information on the CDBG program, please visit www.sdreadytowork.com/Financing-and-Incentives--CDBG.aspx. For more on SD WINS, visit www.southdakotawins.com.

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