SIOUX FALLS (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday announced a program to offer training at the state's technical colleges for people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Republican governor described the program, called UpSkill, as a pathway to “a new career path as we get back to normal.”
The program will work with the state's four technical colleges to offer certificate programs in fields like business, health care and manufacturing. People who qualify for the program will be able to attend “at little or no cost,” according to a news release from the governor's office.
Since the middle of March, the state has processed roughly 58,000 claims for unemployment. That represents almost 14% of the total workforce eligible for unemployment benefits. According to the latest count, 16,594 people in South Dakota were receiving unemployment benefits.
Noem has focused on addressing the economic fallout from the pandemic, saying that the program is a part of readying the state “to bounce back from COVID-19 stronger than ever before.”
The program will be funded by federal aid for addressing the pandemic.