Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. receives state workforce grant
The EDC is one of eight North Dakota communities selected to receive funding from the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Main Street Initiative Partners in Planning Grant.
The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation has been awarded funding to help students explore local career options.
Grand Forks is one of eight North Dakota communities selected to receive funding from the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Main Street Initiative Partners in Planning Grant. The $15,600 grant will be used to analyze the availability of workforce programming in the region, including the need for a career and technical education workforce development center.
“Many high school students might not be aware of career opportunities that exist right here in Grand Forks,” said Becca Cruger, EDC workforce development manager. “For example, with the rise of unmanned and autonomous systems in our region, there are emerging careers like cybersecurity, computer science and agricultural technology that never existed before. We want to help students understand the exciting opportunities in our region and the roadmap to achieve success in their chosen career.”
The EDC worked with Grand Forks Public Schools officials to create a steering committee comprised of K-12 and postsecondary educational leaders, as well as regional industry executives. Cruger, along with EDC President and CEO Keith Lund and Eric Ripley, director of GFPS career and technical education program, will provide staff support and leadership throughout the process. Praxis Strategy group will help facilitate steering committee engagement, workforce analysis and industry surveying.
The workforce development project will pair regional industry leaders with local educators to promote high-value careers and create pathways for success. The program will work to introduce K-12 students to in-demand careers in the Grand Forks region, and allow them to explore and prepare for job opportunities with hands-on training while in high school.
The state grant program supports nonprofit organizations and local governments with funding options for economic development and diversification plans. The plan must address at least one of the three pillars of the Gov. Doug Burgum’s Main Street Initiative: 21st century workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities.