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Commerce Awards Grant for NDSCS Workforce Training Program

by Jesse Bradley, North Dakota Department of Commerce

Posted on 2/22/2011

The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $108,000 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS's efforts to expand its industrial controls and communications training initiative. Partner companies are providing matching funds and resources for the project.

"The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like NDSCS to provide a consistent pipeline of well-trained workers educated right here in North Dakota," Department of Commerce Acting Commissioner Paul Govig said. "The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota."

The grant will allow NDSCS to upgrade permanent and portable training platforms in its Electrical Technician program. This program is expanding rapidly to address all of the possible areas of training in communications and data delivery. Electricians previously only needed to be familiar with basic test equipment for high-powered, hard-wired circuits; they are now required to understand and use non-conventional test equipment.

Emerson (Rosemount, Fisher, and Micromotion Divisions) and Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley Industrial Controls) are providing matching funds and resources for the project. The total value of the project including the grant and the match is $546,847.

"NDSCS is committed to graduating students who have the skills and competencies that North Dakota's business and industry needs," John Richman, NDSCS president, said. "This grant, along with the generous matching funds, will allow us to invest in today's technology to greater enhance the educational experience of our students."

Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota's private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds.

Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.

A workforce enhancement council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.

NDSCS is a two-year, comprehensive college with a residential campus located in Wahpeton, ND, and a commuter campus, referred to as NDSCS-Fargo, in Fargo, ND. NDSCS offers degrees, certificates and diplomas in over 80 academic options in traditional career and technical studies as well as liberal arts. The College also offers a variety of distance education and online courses. Approximately 98 percent of graduates are employed or pursuing additional education.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.


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