Mitchell Tech president: ‘Industry wants our graduates’ – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — There are quite a lot of new enhancements at Mitchell Technical College.

That was the takeaway Wednesday at a joint assembly of the Mitchell Board of Education and the South Dakota Board of Technical Education, the place a wide-ranging presentation from Mark Wilson, president of Mitchell Technical College, outlined present successes on the native technical faculty.

Those enhancements included the scheduled building of a brand new diesel energy tech lab and technical lab area on the primary campus of Mitchell Technical College, a undertaking Wilson mentioned he hopes will likely be able to host college students as early 2023, however presumably by the spring of 2024.

That undertaking is the results of arduous work by the college, its leaders in addition to assist from the South Dakota Legislature, which put $5 million towards the work that the college has matched.

“That’s where we got $5 million – from the state legislature. (The diesel power tech lab) is the main, number one priority,” Wilson instructed the Mitchell Republic following the assembly. “We matched that $5 million, so there will be $10 million to be put into that construction project on campus.”

Wilson mentioned the precise price of the brand new construction will likely be identified when bids are available for the undertaking.

“We have a good ballpark figure, but when we get the bids we’ll know where we’re at,” Wilson mentioned.

The diesel energy tech program has needed to share working area with the college’s energy sports activities program, and the brand new construction will enable for extra devoted area to a program that continues to feed a significant agricultural trade all through the area and past.

That constructing will likely be half of a bigger capital enchancment undertaking that can embrace each the diesel energy tech and technical lab store area in addition to a handful of further buildings projected to be constructed someday sooner or later. Drainage work may also be executed to make manner for the construction, which may also enhance the curb attraction of the college.

“We’re looking (to do drainage work) that will clean up that campus area and make it very presentable as we recruit and bring in potential students to work with our industry partners,” Wilson mentioned.

Terry Sabers, secretary for the South Dakota Board of Technical Education, mentioned that the diesel energy tech constructing is a wonderful instance of Mitchell Technical College staying forward of the curve with an in-demand program that each advantages from and provides again the college’s trade companions.

“I think it’s great because there’s another high-demand area. We’re dependent on ag and value-added ag. That is the kind of thing that is going to be helping, along with Mitchell Technical College’s medical programs,” Sabers mentioned. “They’re all high-demand, high-need and good-paying positions when the students get out.”

Some dialogue on the assembly centered round latest assist from the South Dakota Legislature, and Sabers mentioned that’s an instance of the robust work being executed in any respect the technical faculties in South Dakota, together with Mitchell Technical College.

“The legislators all recognize the value that we’re bringing to the educational system,” Sabers mentioned.

South Dakota Board of Technical Education member Brad Greenway requested in regards to the relationship the college has fostered with trade companions, inquiring whether or not it was a results of Mitchell Tech pursuing these relationships or the companions coming to them. Wilson mentioned the connection is extra natural than that, being fostered by the continued shut relationships which have shaped through the years.

He singled out Clayton Dueter, vice chairman for enrollment companies and the college school for cultivating the relationships which can be as robust as they’re as we speak.

“I cannot say enough about how (Dueter) has built great ties and communicated with potential industry partners in that area. He’s done a great job,” Wilson mentioned. “And again, credit to our program faculty who have done a great job, too, because the industry wants our graduates.”

The boards additionally heard in regards to the Build Dakota Scholarship program,

which has improved the flexibility of many college students to attend Mitchell Technical College.

The scholarship, based in 2015 via the philanthropic efforts of T. Denny Sanford, different donors and the state, offers full-ride scholarships to state technical faculties for college students who qualify.

The scholarship helps tuition, charges, books and different required program bills in eligible technical faculty packages. After commencement, these in this system are required to decide to working in South Dakota of their subject of research for 3 years.

Mitchell Technical College has been on the forefront of selling this system.


Nick Wendell, govt director with the South Dakota Board of Technical Education, speaks Wednesday at a joint assembly of the board with the Mitchell Board of Education.

Erik Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

“(Mitchell Technical College) was one of the leaders in what that program looks like today,” mentioned Nick Wendell, govt director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. “That’s true across all (South Dakota technical school) campuses, but Mitchell was out ahead of that on how to maximize those dollars.”

Sabers agreed.

“To watch that grow and get the businesses behind it — it basically doubles the number of free ride scholarships that people can get,” Sabers mentioned.

More dialogue on the diesel tech program is predicted on the subsequent common assembly of the Mitchell Board of Education, which is scheduled for Monday, April 11 at Mitchell Technical College. The Mitchell Republic will livestream the assembly, which is open to the general public.

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