Green Jobs Training Funded In South Dakota

To increase opportunities for unemployed and dislocated workers to move into high-wage and high-growth occupations, while spurring the state’s emerging energy efficiency and renewable energy industries–these are the goals of a recent $100,000 grant to Yankton’s Regional Technical Education Center (RTEC) from the South Dakota Department of Labor (DOL).
This grant will create an Industrial Maintenance Technology diploma program through Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) unique to South Dakota. (RTEC and MTI together contributed $230,000 for start up expenses, with the state kicking in the final chunk.) MTI instructors will teach the new program by building upon MTI’s existing Energy Star curriculum, while adding instruction in the overall concepts of industrial machinery maintenance.

image via RTEC

This is a no-nonsense program aimed at spurring real economic growth in the state, as all activities funded under the DOL grant must lead to employment for students, teaching competencies currently in demand by the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector while supporting participants’ long-term career growth.
Core skills and competencies taught by the program were developed by a survey of businesses in the 60 mile radius of wind-friendly Yankton, showing a real demand for a local green workforce–a demand this program was tailored to meet.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.