United Tribes Expands CDL Program - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

United Tribes Expands CDL Program

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A grant is giving students at United Tribes Technical College extra drive to learn.

 Instead of computers, their classroom is full of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heavy equipment.

Ben Smith has the story.

North Dakota is in need.

"We have a critical workforce shortage right now.  And we don't have enough skilled workers to fill those positions. says Rae Gunn

The work is there...

"You have the heavy highways, you have the oil, you have the residential, you have the commercial." says Neal Barnes

The man power is not.

But United Tribes Technical College is working to fill that need.

The Demand program has recently expanded it's Heavy Equipment Operator and CDL certification programs... by giving students a chance to get their hands on a new set of equipment.

"A skid steer, a backhoe, a loader, a excavator, a dozor and a motor grater."

With this, Barnes says students will have a more well-rounded education.

"It used to be, everyone had an uncle, a brother, a cousin, or something they had the ability to get those entry level experiences under their belt.  Over the last few decades, we've kind of moved away from those ways of getting some hands on learning before you get thrown to the wolves." Neal

But UTTC is bringing it back.  Giving students the experience that is needed to enter today's workforce.

Barnes says interest is growing.

"Most of the students we've had have been like sponges.  They are so hungry for the experience." says Barnes

And United Tribes is serving up the fresh new experiences.

"We just have a bunch of pathways now.  So we are looking at every avenue and seeing how we can grow and prosper here in the Bismarck/Mandan area." says Rae Gunn

To turn next generation into a skilled workforce.

Ben Smith KXNews

UTTC has a new heavy equipment class starting on Monday.

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