The Career Impact Academy announces a $125,000 commitment from Lunseth Plumbing and Heating Company, $100,000 from the Forum Communications Flexible Fund at the Community Foundation of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks, and Region in partnership with the Grand Forks Herald, and $75,000 from C.L. Linfoot to support development of the career and technical education center in Grand Forks. The donations will be used to unlock matching grant dollars up to $10 million that’s available from the North Dakota State Department of Career and Technical Education.
“We have been grateful for the community support over the years, and this is a terrific way to give back to the community and continue to help build our future here,” said David Kvidt, president of Lunseth Plumbing and Heating.
The Career Impact Academy will provide learners with real-world, hands-on learning spaces to explore high-wage, in-demand career fields in the Grand Forks region. The Academy will offer students specialized training, allowing them to become career ready or college prepared. The commitments of investments continue to gain momentum from local businesses and organizations.
“The Herald’s owners, the Marcil family, are big believers in economic development and they understand what a strong economy can mean for a region,” said Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel. “But without a workforce to fill the jobs that come with that economic development, what good is it? This region needs to develop more workers, and it needs to develop workers specific to the jobs we’ll need here in the future. Technical education is needed, and the Herald is proud to make this donation on behalf of Forum Communications’ continued support of the region and its economy.”
Dan Mulroy, owner of C.L. Linfoot, also sees the their donation as an investment. “It’s investing in my company’s future as well as the Grand Forks workforce,” he said. “The more opportunities we have to showcase various career paths to students in our region, the more our community will prosper in workforce and business growth in the long run.”
Once operational, the Career Impact Academy will offer career programming to both high school and adult learners. One example of this will be the array of medical field training available. High schoolers participating in the Career Impact Academy will be able to complete their high school diploma while obtaining credentials like CPR certification, or credits toward a college degree or certificate. Participating post-secondary institutions will provide training pathways, certifications, and degree programs for adult learners. Similar pathways will be created in the construction, building trades, precision agriculture technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering, unmanned systems, computer science career fields, and more.
“We continue to be grateful for the momentum of the investments coming in, and that our community partners recognize the very important role the Career Impact Academy will have on workforce development for decades to come,” said Keith Lund, President and CEO of Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation.
A steering committee comprised of leaders from regional public entities, educational institutions, and industry leaders have been developing a grant application to seek $10 million dollars in funding to support capital costs needed to build the Career Impact Academy. Grant funds must be matched locally on a $1 per $1 basis and can include cash or in-kind contributions. The application will be submitted to the state by December 1, 2021.
The Career Impact Academy team is currently hosting industry listening sessions and public engagement sessions to refine final program development and site design, as well as seeking industry support for the required financial match. More information about the Career Impact Academy can be found at GrandForks.org/CareerImpactAcademy.