Dr. Rod Flanigan, NDSCS President
Kim Nelson, NDSCS Alumni Foundation Executive Director
Designated staff will be available after the Ground Breaking event on July 7 to visit with media and answer questions.
Revolutionizing Careers: Fargo's New Innovation Hub Rises
In the evolving skyline of Fargo, a new landmark is steadily rising: The North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) Career Innovation Center (CIC). Situated at 4230 64th Avenue South, the CIC will be a beacon for the future of education and workforce training.
The CIC story began with a groundbreaking ceremony in July 2021, signaling the commencement of Phase 1 of this colossal 87,000 square-foot project. For those frequenting Interstate 29, the CIC structure emerging to the west is an impressive addition, complementing other new construction, like the Fargo Parks Sports Center.
Yet, it's more than just a building. The career academy model, which NDSCS and C3Tech embrace, has consistently proven to be transformative in addressing workforce needs in various communities. The Fargo CIC is projected to educate approximately 2,500 K-14 students annually. Its expansive space is set to host a myriad of academic programs and training arenas encompassing: Construction; IT; Health Sciences (focusing on Nursing and EMT); Manufacturing (including Automation, Robotics, Mechatronics, Precision Machining, Rapid Prototyping & Welding); Engineering; Business; General Education (English, Math & Science); Communication; and Agriculture.
U.S. Senator John Hoeven encapsulates the significance of the CIC, remarking, "This project embodies the future of our region, offering students an accelerated route to their careers. As the Red River Valley burgeons, the CIC will play a pivotal role in addressing the rising demand for skilled professionals, enhancing our quality of life."
NDSCS has been a cornerstone of academic and workforce training in Fargo since 1998. NDSCS-Fargo has continually evolved–meeting the needs of industries and learners. Their portfolio consists of: Career and Technical Education (CTE); Liberal Arts academic programs; TrainND workforce training; and a collaborative Pathway program in conjunction with NDSU. In addition to the more-traditional programming offered, NDSCS has been instrumental in serving the needs of all Fargo-area schools by providing a robust selection of dual-credit and specialized CTE programs.
The journey of the CIC has been bolstered by an impressive consortium, including Northern Cass Schools, Central Cass School District, West Fargo Public Schools, Fargo Public Schools, NDSCS, and the NDSCS Foundation. A galvanized community of private, corporate, and municipal donors–including notable contributions from Fueling Our Future, the City of Fargo, the City of West Fargo, and Cass County–underscores the widespread support for this initiative. With the CIC backed by an impressive list of partners and public/private donations raised in excess of $30 million, doors are set to open to a realm of opportunities in 2025.
As the physical infrastructure develops, NDSCS is simultaneously laying the groundwork for the future. "Our vision transcends brick and mortar. We aim to catalyze career awareness, shaping the workforce of tomorrow," shares Kim Nelson, Executive Director for the NDSCS Alumni Foundation.
Dive deeper into the CIC journey by visiting NDSCS's Career Innovation Center.
NDSCS Career Innovation Center construction begins
New facility will provide a collaborative solution to meet regional workforce needs
North Dakota State College of Science Alumni/Foundation, along with numerous partners and donors, broke ground for the career workforce academy today; and the official name ‘Career Innovation Center’ was announced. The Career Innovation Center (CIC), located at 4230 64th Avenue South in Fargo, N.D., is scheduled to open late 2022. Within the CIC, NDSCS will provide training and academic programming alongside Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo Public Schools, Central Cass School District, and Northern Cass School District. This centrally located education and training center will provide career awareness events for elementary students, career identification and preparation (including early-entry College classes) activities for middle and high school students, and training/learning spaces for NDSCS students and trainees.
The career academy concept has been a proven model to meet workforce needs within other communities; the CIC is projected to serve around 3,800 individuals annually from the Fargo region. When completed, the approximately 92,000 sq. ft. facility will include academic programming and training options related to: Construction; Information Technology; Health Science (including Nursing and Emergency Medical Technology); Manufacturing and Engineering; Business; Arts and Communication; Transportation; and Agriculture.
“This is an exciting project for the region by giving students a head-start on their careers – saving them time and money,” U.S. Senator John Hoeven commented through a video message during the celebration. “It will help meet the increasing demand for skilled workers - this is especially important as the Red River Valley continues to grow. Investments like this are an essential part of sustaining that growth which leads to more good paying jobs and higher quality of life."
NDSCS has had an academic and workforce training presence in Fargo since 1998. NDSCS-Fargo has evolved through the years, responding to business and industry needs and learner requests through providing workforce/customized training, offering six academic programs, new American programming, and the collaborative Pathway program with NDSU. Additionally, since opening, NDSCS-Fargo has served various secondary schools through providing dual-credit and high school career and technical education classes.
“This facility will help meet the workforce and educational needs of the region and state through enhancing career awareness and access for younger students,” said Kim Nelson, NDSCS Alumni/Foundation Executive Director. “We anticipate that this awareness and access will translate into higher enrollments at both NDSCS locations – allowing for an expanded workforce for the region."
The CIC is being funded through private donations, public pledges, and various grants; to date the NDSCS Alumni Foundation has raised more than $11 million dollars from business, industry, and personal donations; with an additional $9 million being donated from public entities through federal grants and local government pledges – including $1.5 million in federal CARES Act dollars. The current facility, also owned by the NDSCS Alumni/Foundation, will be sold once the CIC is open in late 2022. For more information visit: ndscs.edu/CIC.