Training for Regional Energy | VideoJennifer Joas | 11/13/2012
Welders, carpenters and truck drivers. There are a wide array of high-wage careers available in western North Dakota. And Bismarck State College is teaming up with Williston State, Fort Berthold, Sitting Bull and Turtle Mountain Colleges to provide necessary training.
"This is probably one of the biggest and most important partnerships that we`ve had with the state institutions. And it should have happened a long time ago," said Fort Berthold Community College President Russell Mason.
Fort Berthold, like many of these community colleges, sits in the middle of oil country.
"I think it`s very important, even with the oil refinery that`s being built to have our collaboration efforts with BSC and the energy technology program," Mason said.
Many of these colleges already offer some energy related programs, but with the help of a 14.6 million dollar grant from the Department of Labor, they will be able to expand the programs and purchase additional equipment.
"It`s been very busy. Our campus with the train ND project, as you know is with workforce training and as you know is with workforce training. And now with this grant for credit to get more skilled laborers out there," said WSC Associate Professor Ken Quamme.
With the need for thousands of additional workers, the schools are confident the programs will fill up fast.
"We have projections for increases for all the programs that are part of the grant. And that`s really part of the reason why we felt we should be able to get the funding to be able to grow the program and to meet the urgent workforce needs in our state," said BSC National Energy Center of Excellence Vice President Kari Knudson.
The colleges plan on implementing the program as soon as possible. The Department of Labor grant is for four years.