Trend Consortium Announces Plans for $14.6 Million Shared Grant

BISMARCK, N.D. – Representatives from the five North Dakota state and tribal colleges that make up the Training for Regional Energy in North Dakota (TREND) consortium today shared plans for a $14.6 million grant the consortium recently received from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Bismarck State College, Fort Berthold Community College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College and Williston State College banded together to apply earlier this year when the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $500 million to higher education institutions across the country under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.

TREND will expand the colleges’ current energy-related programs, enhance career navigation services and create some new training programs with a focus on energy-related occupations, welding, CDL, and building and construction trades in western North Dakota.

According to Emily McKay, project director of the TREND consortium, the colleges each bring different strengths and needs to the table.

“The TREND partners can leverage the strengths of programs at each school, and that will reduce development and implementation costs. Together we can be more innovative in our program delivery, share recruitment resources and better support placement into jobs and careers,” McKay says.

The TREND Consortium shares three goals:

1. Help students earn marketable certificates and degrees, and focus on creating stackable credentials and awarding credit for prior learning

2. Deliver flexible and innovative education and training, and redesign basic skills curricula, and

3. Offer enhanced student support services and career navigation to achieve stronger employment and retention outcomes

“Together we can expand and enhance programs offered and done well at each of our campuses and reach more students without duplicating services,” says BSC president Dr. Larry C. Skogen.

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