ND Career Builders program sees increase in both recipients and business partners

ND Career Builders program sees increase in both recipients and business partners

BISMARCK, N.D. – The ND Career Builders Scholarship and Loan Repayment program saw a 40% increase in recipients and a 30% increase in donors from February 2022 through November 2022. These significant increases can be attributed to a marketing campaign that the legislature funded to build awareness of the program. The target markets were business partners, K-12 administrators and counselors, and students.

For the awareness campaign, NDUS acquired testimonials from businesses that are participants in the program, as well as from students who were scholarship recipients. Brad Barth, an employer who participates in the program said, “Collectively, businesses and communities must work together to help align our young adults in career paths that will be successful in our local communities. The Career Builders program helps make this happen.”

ND Career Builders was created for businesses to attract and retain talent into high need and emerging occupations in the state and fill skilled-workforce positions. The program is a partnership between the state, business, institutions, students, and employees.

The uniqueness of this program is that it is a dollar-for-dollar matching program whereby the state will contribute $1 for every $1 of private-sector matching dollars received for a recipient.  “This helps business leverage their recruitment dollars with the state dollars to create attractive recruitment and retention packages for high demand and emerging occupations. Recipients agree to live in North Dakota and work in a high-demand or emerging occupation for three years to receive the full benefit of the program,” said North Dakota University System Vice Chancellor of Student and Academic Affairs Lisa Johnson. “While business gains a qualified employee, for the recipient, the program provides an opportunity to access and afford in-demand degrees, as well as reduce loan indebtedness.”

The ND Career Builders initiative, with the private-sector and state match, has attracted 274 individuals into occupations in the state and has awarded more than $2.7 million in scholarships and student loan repayments. These dollars have helped businesses recruit employees into skilled workforce positions throughout the state.

The high-need and emerging occupations list, developed by Workforce Development Council and Job Service ND, drives the program. The list includes over 100 individual occupations in 11 sectors, including nursing, teaching, computer programing, electrician, welding, mechanical engineer, social workers, and numerous others.

First instituted by the 2019 North Dakota Legislative Assembly, the program has been actively awarding scholarships and loan repayment since August 2019. Since its inception, the North Dakota University System has visited with hundreds of representatives from business, industry, healthcare and community economic development offices both one-on-one and at conferences across the state. Presentations are ongoing with interested workforce partners and private support to match state dollars continues.

Under either the scholarship or loan repayment, individuals may qualify for up to $17,000. To apply for the scholarship or loan forgiveness or to see the list of in-demand careers, go to: https://ndus.edu/career-builders/.  Contact the program administrator, NDUS, at 701-328-2906 or at ndfinaid@ndus.edu with questions.