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April 30, 2013


Photo caption: Lt. Governor Wrigley, Tribal College Presidents, Legislators and supporters gathered Tuesday to highlight Senate Bill 2218.

BISMARCK, ND – Lt. Gov. Wrigley stood with legislators and Tribal College presidents to highlight Senate Bill 2218 which enhances workforce development efforts through North Dakota Tribal Colleges.

“Workforce development has been a significant focus in North Dakota for more than a decade,” said Lt. Governor Wrigley. “Those efforts have helped create more than 100,000 new jobs in North Dakota since 2000, and helped us enjoy the fastest growing personal incomes and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Senate Bill 2218 is a continuation of our focus on people and the opportunities available for them to succeed throughout every corner of our state.”

In passing Senate Bill 2218, the Legislature authorized $5 million in workforce development grants for tribally controlled community colleges. The grants will support degree- or certificate-granting programs that qualify students to earn highly recruited jobs in the state. They will also provide assistance to students to establish new businesses operating within North Dakota that will employ North Dakotans.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who was unable to attend today’s press conference due to attending former Governor Bill Guy’s funeral in Fargo, applauded the work the bill will accomplish. “Tribal Colleges in North Dakota have served and continue to serve a critical role across our state,” Dalrymple said. “Year in and year out, they provide the education and training needed for future generations to fulfill their career goals. This workforce development funding is an extension of that work and will increase the colleges’ abilities to prepare their students in our growing statewide economy.”

“I am most proud of the North Dakota Legislature and particularly the SB 2218 sponsors. This is a worthy investment of State resources that will make a difference in people’s lives. Tribal colleges are accredited, accountable and resourceful. I am excited about the new collaboration with the Commerce Department and the potential for new or expanded partnerships,” said Cynthia Lindquist, President of Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College that serves the Spirit Lake Dakota reservation in Fort Totten, ND.

Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, president of Cikana Community College, and Turtle Mountain Community College President Dr. Jim Davis attended the bill’s recognition ceremony and spoke in support of the workforce development funding. The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, Sen. Donald Schaible, Sen. John Warner, Rep. Dennis Johnson, Rep. Jim Kasper and Rep. Tracy Boe.

The Department of Commerce will administer the grants through an application process. Recipients will be required to report back to the Department on several factors including expenditures, number of students assisted, graduation rates, new or improved training or other programs leading to a certificate or degree, job placement rates, rate of students assisted who seek further educational opportunities, and the number of jobs or businesses created