<< All News Thursday, October 19, 2023 - 09:32 am

The North Dakota Department of Commerce today announced that the application window for the Technical Skills Training Grant program is now open. 

The continuation of the grant program was part of Gov. Doug Burgum’s Accelerate ND plan, which contained his executive recommendations to the state Legislature for strategically investing federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). During the 68th Legislative Session, $2 million was appropriated to support eligible training providers and employers in their efforts to design and launch rapid, non-degree re-skilling and upskilling programs. 

The Technical Skills Training Grant program aims to offset the cost for program providers and employers in their efforts to support the development of highly trained skilled workers to meet the demands of our labor market. The grant program funds will be awarded until all allocated funds are extinguished.  

This program has three tracks, each focused on developing or expanding a highly skilled workforce for ND’s most in-demand occupations:  

  • Track A reflects the initial intent of this grant program and is designed for new and expanding accelerated, non-degree training programs that prepare trainees for new jobs.  
    • Programs in Track A may be eligible for up to $200,000.  
    • Programs in Track A are not for incumbent workers. 
  • Track B is designed for companies wishing to provide internal upskilling opportunities for their existing staff to promote movement and advancement throughout the organization, create more comprehensive onboarding and new worker training programs, and/or provide safety training for employees.  
    •  Programs in Track B may be eligible for up to $50,000 with a dollar-for-dollar match throughout the lifetime of the grant program.
  • Track C is designed to support workforce automation enhancements including, but not limited to, training and/or upskilling existing employees related to automation that has been implemented, prior to the funding period; or to new or enhanced strategies, not to include the actual purchase of automation equipment.
    • Programs in Track C may be eligible for up to $200,000 for training and or upskilling existing workforce related to automation.  
    • Applicants for Track C may apply for up to $100,000 for a feasibility study, related to automation.  

"Over the course of three grant rounds, we have actively backed the inception and growth of accelerated workforce training initiatives in various sectors throughout the state,” Commerce Workforce Director Katie Ralston Howe said. “These sectors encompass healthcare, information technology, welding, and commercial driver's license training and we continue to extend support to companies offering upskilling for existing employees, holistic onboarding, and safety training. We anticipate that this grant will have an even more substantial influence on the state's workforce." 

Although a wide range of programs may qualify, Commerce anticipates that skilled trades and labor training programs are well-suited to develop accelerated programming or expand capacity in existing programs.  

More information and the Technical Skills Training Grant application can be found at https://ndgov.link/TSTG.  

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