SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem announced additional funding for apprenticeships in South Dakota.

Just under eight million dollars will be given to companies to set up and run apprenticeship programs. Getting paid while you train and learn a new skill. Apprenticeships are available for banking, health care, construction, heating, and plumbing.

The Governor wants to expand the number of apprenticeships. So the state is stepping in to help. Not only will the South Dakota Department of Labor assist with funding, but staff will also help businesses set up an effective apprenticeship program.

“The Department of Labor is ready to support businesses literally right now, right this second, today,” said Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman.

The Labor Department’s plan will provide 7.94 million dollars in grants to companies. The reason is simple.

“I think everywhere I have gone for the past two years, every business has told me Governor we need workers,” said Noem.

Howe Heating and Plumbing hosted the governor for today’s announcement. A company of 180 employees, Howe has had an apprentice program in place for 40 years. Dan Erikson started as an apprentice in 2013.

“I was able to complete a self paced apprenticeship program that was in place at the time while starting a family and furthering my career. I was able to educate myself with the help of Howe to become certified in inspection testing and maintenance of fire protection systems,” said Erikson.

Erikson is the Fire Protection Service Manager and is now teaching others. Noem says the program can help with a wide range of industries.

“We have plumbing, electricians, we can do this with teachers, we can train teachers in the classroom and get them their license,” said Noem. “It can work in the cosmetology area with nail technicians it can work with real estate it will work with anything virtually that needs a license to work in the state of South Dakota. We can design an apprenticeship program to get training on the job earning an income while they get that license that they would desire.”

New sponsors can receive up to 15-thousand dollars. Current sponsors expanding their programs can receive up to 10-thousand dollars.

The South Dakota Department of Labor will host a statewide webinar on May 10th for businesses large and small interested in funding assistance for apprenticeship programs.