OELRICHS | The Build Dakota Road Show came to the Oelrichs School District Nov. 28 to explore the Build Dakota Scholarship Program with local high school students. Western Dakota Tech Foundation Director Aaron Jacobs explained the program’s full-ride scholarship opportunities in high needs career fields at each of the technical schools in South Dakota.
“Modern tech degrees immediately open doors for exceptional opportunities,” Jacobs said. “Many industries in South Dakota are looking to grow, and they need workers with specific sets of skill to do so. Build Dakota focuses on offering scholarships in specialized industries, making you a perfect fit for an in-demand position.”
The Oelrichs students were a fantastic audience -- polite and attentive, according to Southern Hills Economic Development Corp. Director Andrea Powers.
“You could hear a pin drop during the entire presentation,” said Powers, who organized the event. She informed students that the qualifying career fields for 2018-19 include careers in the areas of Agriculture, Automotive Diesel, Building Trades and Construction, Energy Technicians, Engineering Technicians, Information Technology/Computer Information Systems, Healthcare, Precision Marketing, and Welding.
Powers also explained that the Build Dakota Scholarship covers any expenses directly related to program requirements, including tuition, fees, books, laptops, equipment and tools. The scholarship does not pay for housing or living expenses, she noted.
Applicants do not need a minimum high school GPA, but are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA while in the program, to attend full-time, and to commit to three years of in-state work after completion of the program.
After the presentation was complete seniors remained to visit with representatives from career fields of interest to them. Jacki Conlon, Director of Operations for Hot Springs Ambulance Service and Lori Allen, Director of Patient Care Services, visited one-on-one about their respective career fields.
“Having someone in the field come to share their experiences in a comfortable environment was very meaningful for the kids and they were invited to take a field tour of the facilities when the school schedule permits,” Powers said.
Powers and Jacobs will return to Oelrichs School District in early 2018 to assist seniors with completion of the scholarship application, which opens on Jan. 1 and closes March 31. SHEDCO also will host an evening workshop for Hot Springs Seniors early this year. Last year, SHEDO held the workshop for four students and all four were subsequently awarded the scholarship.
For more information about the Build Dakota Scholarship Program, go online at builddakotascholarships.com.