The Career Impact Academy announces a $400,000 commitment from Grand Forks County, $150,000 from a prominent businessman who wishes to remain anonymous, $100,000 from Edgewood Healthcare, $50,000 from Opp Construction, and $25,000 from the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce 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.
“Workforce shortages are a problem across the United States, and one of the best ways to counter that is investing in young people right in our region,” said Cynthia Pic, Grand Forks County Commission Chairperson. “The County is pleased to support this very important workforce development initiative.”
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 leadership team at Edgewood Healthcare is thrilled to provide support for the Career Impact Academy, starting with a contribution of $100,000. I am impressed with the steering committee’s vision for the complex, and more importantly, their dedication to provide high-quality programming for students from the region,” said Phil Gisi, CEO. “The significant growing demand for healthcare services and living options for our senior population is creating many opportunities for rewarding careers in healthcare. It is our goal to help the Academy and their students in any way we can, including providing internships and long-term career opportunities across our portfolio.”
“Opp Construction is proud to be able to financially support the Career Impact Academy and feels that the facility will help Opp Construction achieve its mission of successfully serving our customers with a high-quality product,” said Sally Miskavige, Opp Construction vice president.
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.
“Again, we are filled with gratitude for our community partners who are stepping up to help fund this very important venture,” said Keith Lund, President and CEO of Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation. “The Career Impact Academy has the potential to benefit everyone in our community by providing students with skills and confidence in a vocation and providing workforce for the businesses that keep our community running.”
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. So far the Career Impact Academy steering committee has raised $5.5 million from community partners.
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.