- Associated Press - Thursday, January 29, 2015

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) - A state technical institute in northeastern South Dakota has reached an enrollment record.

Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown says 2,020 students were tallied during the final spring semester student count. The students are enrolled in on-campus, online and dual status classes.

School officials say the record enrollment is an increase of 26 percent over last year’s spring semester count.

The enrollment milestone comes at a time when the state is trying to considerably boost enrollment in technical schools.

State officials in December announced a partnership with philanthropist T. Denny Sanford that will result in a $50 million scholarship program aimed at students entering “high-need” workforce programs.

State leaders say the scholarship program will help fill empty jobs and address a worker shortage that is hindering South Dakota’s growth.

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