HARRISBURG, SD, April 29, 2019– The South Dakota Department of Education Division of Career & Technical Education has selected the Harrisburg School District as a recipient of a $225,000 Workforce Education Grant. Combined with $250,000 in matching funds from the Sioux Empire Home Builders Care Foundation, the district plans to use this award to construct the Home Builders Academy starting in May 2019. “It is exciting to be able to start such an incredible program in a brand-new facility without having to place a financial burden on the community,” said Superintendent Jim Holbeck.

Through a collaboration with the Sioux Empire Home Builders Care Foundation, Southeast Technical Institute, and Affordable Housing Solutions, as well as support from other major industry and community partners, the Harrisburg School District will provide access to expert instruction, industry-grade building equipment and tools, and a multi-phase program that begins with the construction of homes within the new facility at Harrisburg High School and ends with both on- and off-site training experiences in specialty trades, such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and drywall. Learners from Harrisburg and other neighboring school districts will be able to develop highly qualified skillsets by working alongside industry experts, earn construction certification credentials through Southeast Technical Institute, and ultimately enter the workforce and post-secondary training programs tied to the building trades. They will also gain a sense of pride and community service as they construct affordable housing that will be relocated and finished within the community. Home Builders Academy will bolster the number of skilled workers available to address a high need in the field while also supporting the academic, social, emotional, and economic success of the school district and community.

The Harrisburg School District has long been known for its “outside the box” approach to innovative and effective instruction. Through various initiatives, development opportunities, and dedication to excellence, HSD has made it a priority to find ways to meet every learner where they are at, regardless of ability, interest, background, future, or hurdles that might guide their goals and aspirations. We are proud to work with these community partners, the South Dakota Department of Education, and the State of South Dakota on this initiative.