The North Dakota Tribal College System (NDTCS) has announced a new apprenticeship program developed in partnership with Hess Corporation to improve educational and employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples across North Dakota.
The project aims to improve workforce, training, and education opportunities using the apprenticeship pathway via the NDTCS and in partnership with Lake Region State College (LRSC). The colleges under NDTCS have identified varied apprenticeship programs for consideration in areas such as welding, building trades, carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, auto tech, heavy equipment, and others.
Over the next four years, Hess will invest $12 million to provide tuition assistance, stipends, and other support for establishing apprenticeships in a variety of industries designed by each of the state’s five tribal colleges based on the local job market and the needs of tribal communities.
Halliburton and Nabors Industries will each invest $1 million in the new apprenticeship program.
“The partnership we are announcing today reflects the tireless efforts of everyone involved over the past 18 months to design a program that serves a traditional education mission while concurrently responding to deeper community needs,” said Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College President Dr. Cynthia Lindquist. “We are excited to develop new career and workforce opportunities for our young people and are very pleased to have the support from Hess, Nabors, Halliburton and the Governor.”
Following the “earn and learn” model of the apprenticeship program currently in place at Lake Region State College, the new statewide program will provide tribal college students with on-the-job skills training through college work-study, internships, and apprenticeships as they progress toward completing a two-year degree or technical certification, with the possibility of earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree depending on the apprenticeship position and location.
The new apprenticeship program is scheduled to begin in January 2023.
Speaking in the State Capitol at a ceremony commemorating the announcement, Gov. Doug Burgum recognized the significance of the new program.
“Public-private partnerships can be transformative, and the program being launched today is another great example of our state’s private-sector partners believing and investing in the future of North Dakota,” Governor Burgum said. “With today’s announcement, Hess, Nabors, and Halliburton are providing essential resources for our tribal colleges to invest in students in a way that can spark generational change and empower people, improve lives and inspire success.”
“Our company has a longstanding commitment to making a positive social impact on the communities where we operate,” added Hess CEO, John Hess. “We are proud to support the North Dakota Tribal College System in developing a comprehensive program to provide students with education and employment opportunities that will lead to rewarding careers.”