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Noem unveils $7.9 million in funding for apprenticeship programs

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at a podium with a sign reading "Let's get to work" while people behind her applaud.
Slater Dixon
Governor Kristi Noem speaking at an event hosted by Sioux Falls HVAC company Howe Incorporated.

Governor Kristi Noem is announcing nearly $8 million in state funds to supercharge apprenticeship programs in South Dakota.

Noem made the announcement at Howe, Inc. in Sioux Falls, Tuesday morning.

Noem’s administration says employer-oriented apprenticeship programs have the potential to boost the state’s workforce and South Dakotans’ incomes. But funding restrictions have made it hard for the programs to take off in the state.

“If you talk to any employer who’s running an apprenticeship program, they had to make a financial commitment to do it,” Noem said at the event in Sioux Falls. “South Dakota has never made an investment like this before in apprenticeship programs, and it will pay big dividends.”

The new money comes from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development budget.

The state Department of Labor will work with companies to design apprenticeship programs. The department already overseesabout 150 Registered Apprenticeship Programs, most of which are funded through federal grants.

A portrait Department of Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman smiling with her right hand over her heart.
Slater Dixon
Department of Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman

“This funding will allow us to customize our efforts, listen to what employers in this state really need and allow citizens to earn and learn in their own communities,” said Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman. “The Department of Labor is ready to support businesses literally right now.”

Governor Noem said a wide variety of organizations are eligible for apprenticeship program grants.

“We have plumbing, electricians, we can train teachers,” Noem said. “Anything virtually that needs a license to work in the state of South Dakota, we can design an internship program.”

The Department of Labor will host a statewide webinar May 10 for companies interested in starting an apprenticeship program.

Slater Dixon is a junior at Augustana University studying Government and Data Science. He was born in Sioux Falls and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.