Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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SD UpSkill

SD UpSkill is a unique program offering opportunities for eligible South Dakotans to earn certificates available in high-demand fields from the state's technical colleges at little or no cost. It is a partnership between the South Dakota Board of Technical Education and the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR). Enrollment in this program comes with excellent case management and the full array of services DLR offers job seekers.

All UpSkill certificates relate to high-demand fields in South Dakota—marketing, health care, information technology, and more.

The programs are primarily 18-credit programs. Credits from these programs can integrate with Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or bachelor's degree programs at public institutions throughout the state.

Course may be offered online, in-person, and in hybrid formats.

Spring 2022 enrollment closed Dec. 30, 2021. Individuals are eligible to apply to the technical college and DLR at any point for consideration of financial assistance for future semesters.

Overview and FAQs

Getting started

1. 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. Below is an example of the programs offered for Spring 2022.

SD UpSkill Spring 2022 Certificates by Cluster

Technical College and Contact Info Cluster Certificate
Lake Area Technical College
Health Science Community Health Worker
Emergency Medical Technician
Manufacturing Welding
Transportation Commercial Driver's License
Mitchell Technical College
Health Science Dietary Management
Medical Information
Southeast Technical College
Health Science Medical Assisting
Information Technology Computer Support
Web Programming
Western Dakota Technical College
Health Science EMT/Pre-Paramedic

2. After someone applies and is accepted by the technical college, the college will send a referral to DLR. DLR will reach out to schedule an intake meeting to determine eligibility for funding.


Eligibility for funding

Participants must be authorized to work in the United States, reside in South Dakota, must score a 235 or higher on the ACCUPLACER® as determined by the technical college, and meet DLR's eligibility requirements for financial assistance.

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

Employers and Industry Partners

Meeting your needs for a highly skilled workforce, SD UpSkill is a partnership between South Dakota’s Board of Technical Education and the Department of Labor and Regulation. UpSkill provides an opportunity for individuals to earn certification in high-demand occupations from South Dakota’s technical colleges. Students can benefit from work-based learning opportunities such as job shadows, informational interviews, internships and on-the-job training. Graduates will be searching for premier employers to put their new skill sets to use.

How do I connect with students and graduates?

Email us and a DLR Representative will reach out to you.