FEBRUARY 14, 2011 WATERTOWN, SD Lake Area Tech has completed its employment survey of the 2010 graduates and is reporting that after just six months, 98% of the graduates are employed or are continuing their education. Of those continuing their education, a majority have returned to Lake Area Tech to complete the second year of their nursing degree or pick up another program of study.

In addition to the overall high placement rate, 90% of the respondents have reported that they are employed in South Dakota, and at competitive wages. President Deb Shephard comments, “Not only have Lake Area Tech graduates landed jobs in a recession year, but the salaries these graduates are getting are outstanding.” Of the twenty-two programs reporting salaries, fourteen reported an entry level wage of $14.00 – $18.00 per hour, plus excellent benefits. Shephard continues, “This is good news for everyone. The numbers we are seeing affirms Lake Area Tech’s mission of workforce development for the state. It also may be an indicator that the recession is letting up and employers are hiring the type of workers that South Dakota needs to be successful. “

Of the 493 graduates in 2010, 480 responded to the annual placement and wage survey. The survey is conducted annually and is used as a benchmark for Lake Area Tech and the state in strategic planning, as well as recruitment and advising students.