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Seven Recent WDT Graduates Help Fill Need for Professional Truck Drivers

Seven students have recently graduated from Western Dakota Tech's Professional Truck Driving Program. These graduates will help fill the high and projected increasing need for truck drivers.

The specific Truck Driving Program class, graduates, and their South Dakota hometowns are as follows:

Class A
  • David Beam – Box Elder
  • Justin Mark – Hermosa
  • Jerome Martinez – Rapid City
  • James McClain – Sturgis
  • Salvador Reza – Rapid City
Class B
  • Roger Hanel – Rapid City
  • Marinda Perry – Sturgis
In a South Dakota Department of Labor August 2020 Top 30 Hot Careers report, the top "Hot Career" listed is "Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers". The list is based on factors including "above-average projected openings" and "an average/mean wage greater than the median wage across all occupations in 2019". The DOL projects annual openings for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, from 2018-2028, to be 1, 100. The average annual wage in 2019 was $43,582.

The next Class A and B Professional Truck Driving courses will begin on Feb. 1, 2021. For more information, visit To register or for additional information, call the Western Dakota Tech Corporate Education Center at (605) 718-2410. (Western Dakota Tech is closed for the holiday Thursday, Dec. 31, and Friday, Jan. 1.)

Western Dakota Tech'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 Tech Professional Truck Driving Program Director Jay Banick is conducting a vehicle inspection with a student in this file photo.

About Western Dakota Tech

Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college serving the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers 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 Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military. [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 Tech 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 Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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