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Seven Graduate from Western Dakota Technical College's Professional Truck Driving Program

Early Registration Recommended for Course Starting Aug. 19

Western Dakota Technical College (WDTC) announces the recent graduation of seven students from its Class A Professional Truck Driving Program. These graduates are poised to contribute to meeting the escalating demand for skilled truck drivers in the region.

The Class A Professional Driving Program graduates and their South Dakota hometowns are:

  • JP Bateman – Rapid City
  • Aiden Garner – Rapid City
  • Erik Grinnell, Sr. – Rapid City
  • Crystal Hernandez – Rapid City
  • Josh Logan – Rapid City
  • Shane Mins – Belle Fourche
  • Emory Tritapoe II – Wasta
Those interested in the Class A program are encouraged to register now for the course starting Aug. 19, as the program fills quickly and enrollment is limited. (Few spots remain for the class starting May 28.)

Course information is available at To register or for more information, call the Corporate Education Center at (605) 718-2410, or email

In a South Dakota Department of Labor June 2023 Top 30 Hot Careers report, the top "Hot Career" listed is "Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers". The list is based on factors including "projected annual openings greater than the average across all occupations for 2020-2030" and "an average/mean wage greater than the median wage across all occupations in 2022". The S.D. DOL projects annual openings for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, from 2020-2030, to be 945. The average annual wage in 2022 was $52,070.

Western Dakota Technical College's Corporate Education Center offers short-term classes, custom training, events, seminars, career programs, and more to help companies train employees and help students be successful in new and current careers. For more information, visit



Western Dakota Technical College recent Professional Truck Driving graduates, L-R: JP Bateman, Crystal Hernandez, Joshua Logan, Aiden Garner, Emory Tritapoe, Shane Mins, and Erik Grinnell.

About Western Dakota Technical College

Western Dakota Technical College (WDTC) was established in 1968 and is the only technical college serving the western South Dakota region.

WDTC offers more than 40 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

Ninety-nine percent of Western Dakota Technical College's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military per the WDTC 2022 Placement Report. There were 320 respondents out of 342 graduates surveyed. [*Placement information is derived from graduate surveys, faculty-collected data, placement surveys started six months after graduation, and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. Overall placement rate is figured by: (responding graduates employed, continuing education, or in military service)/(responding graduates who are seeking employment). The number of program graduates are unduplicated by CIP code.]

Western Dakota Technical College faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about WDTC, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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