SIOUX FALLS, SD – The mikeroweWORKS Foundation has awarded ten scholarships to technical students across the state of South Dakota in an effort to help boost technical education in the state and across the country. Students from Lake Area Tech who received the scholarship are Emily Stewart, Norwich NY - Diesel Technology; Zachary Stoltenburg, Clear Lake SD - Energy Technology; Hallie Tolzin, De Smet SD – Agriculture; Joel Young, Warner SD – Agriculture; Brandi Boardman, Watertown SD – Welding Technology and Anna Jongeling, Estelline SD – Agriculture.
The Finish Strong Scholarship was open to students entering their second year at one of South Dakota’s four technical institutes to help students earn technical degrees and move into the state’s workforce with less debt. The scholarship program was funded by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and matched by the state of South Dakota Future Fund for a total of $50,000 in scholarships.
“What Mike Rowe’s foundation has done here in South Dakota to help our technical students is a reflection of the tremendous need we have for skilled workers,” said Dana Dykhouse, chairman of the Finish Strong board. “The impact the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has helped make on students in programs like diesel mechanics, agri-business, energy technology, and more is immeasurable for those individuals and for our state.”
The Finish Strong Scholarship came to life after Rowe’s visit to South Dakota in the fall of 2018, when he visited several South Dakota technical institutes and businesses in support of the New Day in Tech Ed campaign.
The scholarship comes at an important time; skilled workers are in high demand, reflected in the 2.9% overall South Dakota unemployment rate in August 2019, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.
“Partnerships like the Finish Strong Scholarship are crucial as we work to build the labor force to meet our growing population needs,” said Dennis Daugaard, Finish Strong board member and former South Dakota governor. “We hope teaming up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation can show students that technical education is a smart path to a very bright future in South Dakota.”
For more information about the Finish Strong Scholarship, visit builddakotascholarships.com/finishstrong.