Research professionals at South Dakota Mines say their graduates are choosing to stay in the Black Hills

South Dakota often fails to retain college graduates.
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 8:17 AM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Over the last decade South Dakota Mines has had an influx of job opportunities thanks to the commercialization and building of a new office. The Office of Economic Development, as well as several other projects, are underway such as the Nucor Mineral Industries Building.

The Associate Vice President for Research-Economic Development, Joseph Wright says the school has been able to have a number of graduates stay in the state because of new entrepreneurial opportunities.

“Start-up companies have been created out of Mines, and that’s new. That’s not something students had or even faculty had an opportunity to do is create successful start-ups and stay in the state,” Wright said.

Wright said this is especially important to see graduates come back and become mentors and teach students at South Dakota Mines.

According to the South Dakota Mines website, the university is one of only five universities in the United States to have all three mineral industry disciplines: geology and geological engineering, mining engineering and management, and metallurgical and materials engineering.

Nucor Mineral Industries Building is making progress as this building will house all three disciplines listed above. This will increase research in these fields and jobs stemming from educated graduates.

Interim Vice President for Research at South Dakota Mines, Laurie Anderson said there is a good chance that graduates come back to make a life where they first started after branching out.

“I see a number of alumni might have a career internationally and come back eventually and maybe retire from a large business, but come back and do entrepreneurial things,” Anderson said. “There’s a strong link to this region. People like the Black Hills. They like Rapid City, and they like coming back here because we have a lot of amenities, but we still have a small-town feel.”