NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — A proposed scholarship program aims to recruit and retain people to work in the state’s oil and gas industry.

Senate Bill 2197 plans to provide the Re-Energize North Dakota Scholarship for people who worked in the oil and gas industry for six months or their immediate family members.

The scholarship would provide up to $16,000 per individual to pay for tuition, fees, books, or other supplies needed for the educational program.

And the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources is in favor of the bill passing.

“This is really a great opportunity to recruit people here, to continue to retain our employees especially here at the Department of Mineral Resources where a lot of engineer technicians would like to become petroleum engineers. And really to retrain employees that maybe had a family member in the industry or had been in it in the past,” said Jessica Petrick, the public information officer for the Department of Mineral Resources.

The Senate has heard the measure but hasn’t taken any action.