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Rapid City Boosters Also Working on Vo-Tech Scholarship Plan

Did you know Governor Dennis Daugaard and billionaire Denny Sanford aren't the only guys proposing a vo-tech scholarship? A month prior to the big announcement of the Build Dakota Scholarship, the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership and other interested Black Hills parties applied for one of those workforce development grants from the state. They asked for $220,000 from the state to support their $440,000 three-year plan; they got $70,000.

The Black Hills plan included all sorts of leveraging and marketing (after two years of top-secret prep, the Black Hills economic developers last year launched "a new economic development branding and marketing effort, unified as Rushmore Region"), career coaching at the K-12 level, metalwork training and certification, and more.

The Black Hills plan also included a scholarship proposal:

We are proposing to create a regional skills-based training scholarship fund, that when matched by the employers seeking the trained employees, would make possible the opportunity for many of these unemployed and often underemployed job candidates to round out their skills/certifications and thus qualify for these attractive job opportunities. This would supplement our recruitment strategy by helping our employers locate employees who are almost ready, but who lack one or two critical skills prerequisite to being hired [Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, Community Incentives Matching Program grant application, November 2014].

Great minds think alike, I guess.

Ben Snow, president of the RCEDP, tells me he and Blaise Emerson of the Black Hills Council of Local Governments are still working on details of the scholarship component of their plan:

We are... encouraged that coincidental to the day we were delivering our presentation to the workforce board, the announcement of the Sanford gift for skilled-trades scholarships was taking place in Sioux Falls and that it is very close in concept to what our proposal included, except on a statewide basis and at a much higher funding level [Ben Snow, e-mail to Madville Times, 2015.01.20].

The Build Dakota Scholarship workforce fields are to be determined within the next couple weeks. If they align with the needs our Black Hills boosters see in their workforce, the state and RCEDP should be able to pool resources and train even more workers for the Black Hills labor pool.


  1. Tim 2015.01.24

    How much training does it take to flip burgers, shovel cow shit and sell trinkets to tourists? Not much else going on out here.

  2. larry kurtz 2015.01.24

    Exactly, Tim: now you're getting Rapid City.

  3. larry kurtz 2015.01.24

    btw: Rapid City's earth hater legislators are at the School of Mines today from 0900 to 1100. Go over there and tell them how mucked up they are. Phil Jensen has a column in the Journal rejecting the Anthropocene and supporting genocide.

  4. Tim 2015.01.24

    Larry, Rapid is nowhere near perfect and ran by republican idiots, but it is my home, excuse me for defending it and trying to make it better. At least I'm not standing a thousand miles away and throwing rocks.

  5. larry kurtz 2015.01.24

    728 miles, Tim.

  6. jerry 2015.01.24

    South Dakota should tell the republican in the mirror to support immigration as that is the only way to fill jobs here with the shitty wages that are being provided.

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