United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) in Bismarck, N.D., has received an $18.9 million grant to lead a group of tribal colleges in building career development programs that meet local and regional employers’ needs for highly skilled workers. The grant was awarded through the inaugural round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program, an initiative by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to support career development partnerships and programs at community and technical colleges. In its initial round, the program awarded a total of nearly $500 million to 32 institutions. UTTC was the only tribal college among the grant recipients.
The grant to UTTC will fund a three-year initiative called Tribal College Consortium for Developing Montana and North Dakota Workforce, or TCC DeMaND, that is designed to build degree programs that align with the workforce needs of local and regional employers, particularly employers in the region’s booming oil industry. UTTC, in partnership with three other tribal colleges in North Dakota and Eastern Montana—Aaniih Nakoda College in Harlem, Mont.; Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, N.D.; and Fort Peck Community College in Poplar, Mont.—will create or enhance degree or certification programs in five targeted industries: manufacturing; architecture and construction; health science; law, public safety, corrections, and security; and transportation, distribution, and logistics. Specific new degree programs the colleges plan to create include welding, certified nurse assistant, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and hazardous materials and hazardous waste operations.