Growing Enrollment by 16%

Build Dakota Scholarship Fund

The nation has suffered a skilled labor shortage of blue collar workers, and South Dakota is no exception. The Build Dakota Scholarship Fund was founded to provide full-ride scholarships to students at certain South Dakota tech schools in high-need careers like welding, engineering and manufacturing.

Build Dakota Logo
Build Dakota triangles and images
Man working on project

The L&S team started by giving the scholarship fund a fresh look for its introduction, including a geometric-based logo, current color palette and brand standards.

Extensive audience research then drove our messaging, challenging people’s perceptions of technical degrees and skilled labor trades.

Guess the Success of Tech Careers

The campaign compared the earnings of traditionally viewed successful careers – like a nurse or accountant – to those of skilled labor careers like a general contractor. The truth? Many skilled labor jobs have higher placement rates and earning potential than white collar careers.

Build Dakota billboard
Build Dakota web banners
Build Dakota web banners

We spread the message through television, targeted digital placement, social media, online radio, billboards, search engine marketing and a new website to rollout the scholarship program.

The Full Ride That Can Take You Anywhere

Now several years into the campaign, the Build Dakota marketing efforts have garnered more than 54 million impressions with 14,000 website applications.

Partner universities participating in Build Dakota have seen enrollment increase by as much as 16%.

Two students working on car

And despite a nationwide dip in college enrollment, three out of the four partner universities participating in Build Dakota have seen enrollment increase by as much as 16%, and South Dakota’s technical schools have seen 2% growth.

Want more on how marketers can make blue collar careers cool again? Read our white paper for the full story.

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