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UpSkill is a partnership between the South Dakota Board of Technical Education and the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) that provides funding for eligible individuals to attend a certificate program at one of the state’s four technical colleges. Enrollment in this program comes with excellent case management and the full array of services DLR offers job seekers. Programs are 18 credits on average but vary by program and by school.

South Dakota’s four technical colleges offer a range of programs for the fall semester:

  • Lake Area Technical College: Accounting, Agriculture, Banking, Community Healthcare Worker, EMT, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Networking, Precision Machining, Programming, Welding
  • Mitchell Technical College: Medical Information, Dietary Management, Professional Truck Driving
  • Southeast Technical College: Computer Support, Web Programming
  • Western Dakota Technical College: Phlebotomy, EMT/Pre-Paramedic, Plumbing

No. It depends on the program. Some certificates are offered in-person, hybrid, or all online. Please contact the technical college offering the certificate program for details.

Enrollments have begun.

DLR will take referrals from the technical colleges until Tuesday, Aug. 17.

All applications begin at the technical colleges. Individuals who are interested in participating should contact the technical college offering the certificate program they wish to pursue.

Most programs are completed over two semesters, but some can be completed in one semester.

  • Lake Area Technical College: Fall Semester: Aug. 17–Dec. 17, Spring Semester: Jan. 10-May 13
  • Mitchell Technical College: Fall Semester: Aug. 23-Dec. 16, Spring Semester: Jan. 10-May 6
  • Southeast Technical College: Fall Semester: Aug. 23-Dec. 10, Spring Semester: Jan. 10-May 6
  • Western Dakota Technical College: Fall Semester: Aug. 23-Dec. 17, Spring Semester: TBA

After someone applies and is accepted by the technical college, they will work with a DLR staff member to confirm eligibility for UpSkill financial assistance.

Participants must be authorized to work in the United States, reside in South Dakota, and must score a 235 or higher on the ACCUPLACER® as determined by the technical college.

DLR will determine eligibility in alignment with the following:

  • Eligibility as identified in Occupational Skill Training Policy 5.27
  • Categories 1-6 in the Priority of Services Chart in Eligibility and Priority of Service Policy 4.1 have been expanded to include:
    • Single Parent
    • Long Term Unemployed
    • Native American/Hawaiian Native/Alaska Native
    • 55 and older
    • Homeless
    • Substance Abuse
    • Underemployed
    • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker
    • English Language Learners
    • Within two years of exhausting TANF
    • Veterans and Eligible Spouses who are NOT included in the priority groups 1 or 3
    • Displaced Homemaker (Displaced Homemaker will be served under the Dislocated Worker Program)
  • WIOA Title I Dislocated Worker
  • WIOA Title I National Dislocated Worker
  • WIOA Title I Youth
  • Household within 200% poverty level with children under the age of 18.

Applying for UpSkill is free.

Email or contact the technical colleges’ Admissions Offices

To connect with a DLR Representative, Email: