The state of South Dakota wants to spread the word about the benefits of apprenticeships. With workforce shortages in many industries, the Department of Labor and Regulation says on the job training can help not only businesses, but people looking for quality jobs. 

Kari Karst is the President of a highway construction company out of Dell Rapids. 

“We’ve always had great jobs in the construction industry, people just don’t know it,” Karst said. 

That’s why Karst is here at Southeast Tech to get more information about the Start Today SD apprenticeship. She says a lack of qualified talent is holding businesses back. 

“It’s incredibly hard to hire people. Really the growth of your company is dependent, in my opinion, on your ability to attract and retain workers,” Kari Karst said. 

Karst hopes to start an apprenticeship in the near future with the assistance of Marcia Hultman and the Department of Labor and Regulation. Hultman says the state is pushing apprenticeships now more than ever. 

“Businesses don’t always know how things work or how to get started or what the rules and regulations are. So our job, believe it or not, is to make it easier for the businesses to become involved and to set up an apprenticeship,” Hultman said. 

Along with businesses across the state, Southeast Tech is also facilitating it’s own apprenticeship programs. It just provides another opportunity for people in the community.

“This opens the doors to so many more people and allows those opportunities and the chance to become a professional and to have a career. It’s not about having a job, it’s about developing a career and apprenticeships allow a lot of people that opportunity,” Lon Hird, Director of Academic Support and Corporate Education at Southeast Tech said.  

There are more than 100 apprenticeship programs in South Dakota. The state is hoping to expand those programs into nontraditional areas such as dental hygiene and cyber security. The next informational meeting is set to take place Thursday morning in Mitchell.