The Industrial Technology (IT) Department at Black Hills State University is once again expanding.  Starting in January four courses will be offered, at the Regional Technical Education Center (Rtec) in Yankton as BHSU makes the associate degree in Industrial Technology available to manufacturing businesses and employees in southeast South Dakota.

According to Tom Termes, BHSU assistant professor of industrial technology, offering these classes east river creates opportunities for the manufacturing industries and BHSU students.

“South Dakota has a great many manufacturing companies and most of these are located along Interstate 29 on the far eastern side of South Dakota.  The manufacturing community’s need for technically educated people was the catalyst for the development of Rtec,” Termes said. “This is an exciting step for the program.”

Termes notes that the city of Yankton and the economic development community are very interested in developing industrial education in their community with the BHSU Industrial Technology program.  Recently several BHSU faculty members traveled to Yankton to complete the plans for this new endeavor.

Rtec, is a non-profit corporation that is located in the heart of the Yankton Industrial Park.  It is housed in a beautiful educational facility that provides both lab and classroom space to students. BHSU will instruct all of the industrial technology programs there.

Josh Svatos, general manager of Rtec, says he pleased BHSU making this degree program available in Yankton.

“Having Black Hills State University deliver an Associate’s Degree in Industrial Technology is a tremendous opportunity for Yankton and southeast South Dakota,” Svatos says. “The classes within this degree will enhance the skills of our local workforce and provide another educational option for area students thus supporting our theme of home growing our workforce.”

In a strong show of support for the program, the Yankton Economic Development group has promised a $1,000 scholarship to the first 20 students to sign up in the new location.

“Especially important to the IT Department is the fact that local industrial supporters have donated many thousands of dollars worth of high tech laboratory equipment to Rtec,” Termes says. “The Rtec equipment is extensive and will provide excellent learning opportunities for our students.”

The BHSU Industrial Technology Department now offers courses in four locations: Yankton (digital network and face-to-face), Rapid City (face-to-face), Spearfish (digital network), and in Sioux Falls (digital network).

BHSU, which offers the only Industrial Technology degree in the state, has recently instituted modifications and enhancements to strengthen the program and ensure it is meeting the needs of industries. Last year, BHSU moved its Industrial Technology program to Rapid City and is committed to building a strong relationship with industries in the state and region. The latest move to offer classes in Yankton and Sioux Falls will ensure students in the eastern part of the state have access to the program as well. The industrial technology degree prepares students for careers in construction, management, and manufacturing technology. For more information contact Termes at 642-6498.