WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College is pleased to announce that it has received notice that U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced Friday that he has secured funding for the North Dakota Energy Workforce Consortium.
In a letter to WSC President Dr. Raymond Nadolny, Dorgan, who is a senior member of the Senate's Appropriations Committee, said, "Congress has approved and the President has signed into law the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010. The bill included $1.9 million for the Energy Workforce Consortium that Williston State College participates in with our state's other western colleges. I'm pleased that the funding I added to the bill earlier this year has now been approved and that your important work will move forward."
Nadolny said that he was very pleased when he received news that this funding had been approved.
"People in this workforce are very mobile and it's important for us to have the technology to provide the skill training they need, whether they're in Tioga, Stanley or Williston," he said. "This funding provides an opportunity for a larger number of individuals to receive training that will lead directly to employment and lucrative positions."
Also included in the funding bill was $300,000 to continue Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zones throughout North Dakota.
In a press release about the funding, Dorgan said, "We have an urgent need to boost energy workforce training at Williston State College, because oil field employment is increasing daily in the western part of the state."
The funding will be used by WSC to expand its specialized oil and gas industry training through the development of curriculum.
"With the increased activity in the oil and gas industry, there is a need for more technical skills to maintain the new and existing well sites," said Deanette Piesik, Chief Executive Officer of TrainND. "WSC has developed a petroleum technology degree to address this need for the industry. The programs include a commercial driver's license program; a lease operator program; and an industrial safety program. These new degree and certificate programs will help to fill the employee skill gap needed for the oil and gas industry"