Southeast Technical Institute Articles

Southeast Tech building programs to meet industry needs

Fifty years ago, Southeast Tech began in Sioux Falls with six programs and fewer than 100 students.

A half-century later, it’s grown to 60 programs and more than 2,400 students.

“It’s up from last year again, so it’s nice to see that continued interest in trades and technical careers,” said Robert Griggs, who is beginning his third school year as Southeast Tech’s president.

Southeast Tech helps prepare students to secure jobs in the Sioux Falls area by tailoring its program offerings to match areas where workers are needed. That’s resulted in programs teaching skills in the following areas: Business, Transportation Technology, Horticulture, Industrial Technology, Media Communications, Healthcare, Engineering Technology, Law Enforcement, Early Childhood, Information Technology, Agriculture and Technical Studies.

“What’s really critical is that Southeast Tech respond to industry needs,” Griggs said. “In order to do that, we need to be in constant communication and conversation with industry representatives about what they see as current demand and what opportunities are going to exist for careers in the future.”

This school year brought a new program to train medical assistants, developed in response to needs from the healthcare field and with curriculum help from Avera Health and Sanford Health.


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Executive profile: Midco chief technology officer Jonathan Pederson

As chief technology officer at Midco, Jon Pederson’s role is a diverse one. 

He manages a team of 65 people, taking care of core customer-facing technology: Internet, video service, phone service and business services. 

He also represents the Sioux Falls-based company at the highest levels of its industry, assisting with industry relations at a national level.

This month, he marks 34 years with the company – the result of a career that started with a job during college that led him down an unexpected path.


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Early career spotlight: One student's journey to become a physician's assistant

Makenzie Haensel is no stranger to challenging, new adventures, and she’s about to embark upon one such opportunity yet again.

This fall, Haensel, 23, is one of 26 students who will pursue a physician assistant, or PA, degree at the University of South Dakota, a highly competitive program that routinely admits approximately 26 students per year, which amounts to accepting just 2.5 percent of applicants. With a 16.9 percent population increase in Sioux Falls since 2010, Makenzie’s chosen career path is also critical to the area’s growth, as hospitals are increasing care for more patients.


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Early career spotlight: Southeast Tech grad finds match with Muth Electric

Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why a technical institute was the right choice for you, and what led you to pursue the program you selected at Southeast Tech.

My name is Logan Bosch, and I’m from Luverne, Minnesota. A technical institute was a good choice for me because it allowed me to get a good education while also allowing me to get into the workforce faster and start earning money sooner than I would have if I would have gone to a four-year university.

I decided to pursue the Electrician program because it had always interested me, and I like the ability to do things with my hands and be on my feet all day.


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Live, Learn, Inspire: How to engage multiple generations for lifelong learning

Want to gain insight on how to work with multiple generations? Start by teaching them.

That’s what Fenecia Foster does as part of her role at Southeast Technical Institute, where she splits time teaching math and applied physics with serving as a faculty liaison working on accreditation and on-boarding faculty.

“We have a lot of Gen Xers who are coming back in the classroom to retrain, and I’ve had students who are baby boomers,” said Foster, who has been teaching at Southeast Tech. for almost seven years. “We really get those three generations – Gex X, millennials and Gen Z – in our classroom at the same time, and the workforce is similar.”

Foster will be part of a panel around the topic of “Live, Learn, Inspire” at the Aug. 22 WIN in Workforce Summit presented by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Foster will be joined by panelists Kayla Eitreim of Junior Achievement of South Dakota, Josh Hall from the Career & Technical Education Academy and Alyssia Salguero with the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation.

It’s one of several sessions designed to share strategies around talent development. The summit also will cover talent attraction, business partnerships and other workforce development resources.


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