Labor Grant Gives Students Real World Training - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Labor Grant Gives Students Real World Training

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A $14.6 million grant from the Department of Labor is allowing students at five North Dakota colleges to get real world training in energy-based careers.

It's Alex Bloms first day getting behind the wheel of this semi and he hopes it will lead to a career driving truck.

"It's a little scary thinking about it but I think it will go well," says Bloms.

He will spend the first hour in the passenger seat before getting to try it out himself.
"We take a student, give them 16-hours of drive time in the truck. We drive all over Bismarck-Mandan, they get to learn all their shifting, we do backing with them," says BSC instructor Bill Geiser.

And that's not the only training they get. The students also spend another 16-hours in a simulator.

"This is the first year that we've run the CDL simulator class. We've run the truck driving class in the past, but it was non credited, it was voluntary. Now, it's mandatory for students to take the class," says Bismarck State College instructor Kevin Holmstrom.

While on the simulator the students get to test out a variety of weather conditions and even how to react if a tire blows out.

And it's all possible thanks to a $14.6 million grant from the Department of Labor.

"What the grant does is it really focuses on energy related careers. So providing career training in a short amount of time, so we can get people into the work force as soon as possible. Into high wage high skilled jobs," says CDL project director Emily McKay.

Which is exactly what Bloms wants to do.

"It's a good opportunity to help us get our CDL and I think employers will really like it a lot too. It should help us get hired," says Bloms.

So far eight students have completed the simulator class. Other schools to receive funding include Williston State, Sitting Bull, Turtle Mountain and Fort Berthold.

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