2021 Non-Metro QLICI of the Year Award Recipient
CDEs: USBCDE, LLC and Dakotas America, LLC
Owner: Oglala Lakota County School District 65-1
Location: Pine Ridge, South Dakota
The participation of two CDEs–USBCDE, LLC and Dakotas America, LLC–allowed the construction of a career technical high school in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, within the Oglala Lakota Nation. Lakota Tech will be an 80,000-squre-foot public high school, the only physical high school within the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Oglala Lakota Nation is the second largest Indian reservation in the U.S. and is one of the most impoverished areas in the nation, with a poverty rate of 44%. The school has capacity for 400 students and will graduate more than 100 students each year with career readiness skills in an area that has an unemployment rate as high as 80%. The school district population is 99.9% American Indian/Alaskan Native and less than 25% of eighth-graders graduate from high school.
The NMTC financing, coming from a $3.5 million QLICI from USBCDE, LLC, and a $20 million QLICI from Dakotas America, LLC, will allow the school district to better serve local residents and will free up money to spend on equipment and services for students across the district’s five other locations. The construction created 100 jobs and an additional 50 permanent jobs were created.