State will pay Eagle Creek tuition

The terms of agreement between the University of South Dakota and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development show that GOED will pay up to $212,500 to USD for students who enroll in a 12-credit, four-course curriculum to learn information technology skills as part of the expansion by Eagle Creek Software into Vermillion. The project is estimated by state officials to eventually generate 1,000 jobs across South Dakota, including 200 at a center at Vermillion. USD will create a training academy. Eagle Creek will select the students, who can receive a three-month internship with Eagle Creek and ultimately apply for a job as an IT consultant at Eagle Creek. USD also is looking at a master degree program as part of the project. GOED agrees to pay USD up to $4,000 per undergrad and up to $5,000 per student for the master program. The state Board of Regents, whose members govern the state universities, is scheduled to look at this deal next week. The agreement is already signed by USD president Jim Abbott and state Economic Development Commissioner Pat Costello. USD will offer three of the courses in data querying and preparation, data science and analytics, and deriving knowledge from data “at scale,” while Dakota State University will offer the fourth, in data systems.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

One thought on “State will pay Eagle Creek tuition

  1. Pierrely Conservative

    The eagle creek project will never generate 1,000 jobs, unless you count the turnover jobs. So 10 are hired every 3 months, but 7 leave in that time. Yup that’s how we get to 1,000 jobs. Sounds like Obama numbers to me. Eagle Creek Vermillion will never generate 200 jobs, that was promised in Pierre, but look at their staff now…

    Eagle Creek in Pierre, SD should be a prime example of how Eagle Creek has failed in SD. I know lots of people who “worked” at Eagle Creek because most of them don’t work there anymore because their turnover rate is astronomical. When I told them that Eagle Creek was opening a new office in Vermillion they just laughed because they know that Eagle Creek of Pierre recently laid a bunch of people off in November and even more quite in December.

    This is a total waste of tax payers dollars on something that has failed previously. GOED was also in on the Eagle Creek Pierre agreement and its quite apparent those 1,000 jobs never developed. Just do some light digging, its all there.

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