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.