A new program called ND Career Builders is aimed at increasing workforce in high need and emerging occupations in North Dakota. The program originates from House Bill 1171, passed by the 2019 Legislature, and provides a skilled workforce scholarship and student loan repayment program.

“We thank the Legislature for the foresight in passing this bill," said Nick Hacker, chair of the State Board of Higher Education. "We are seeing a shortfall in the number of workers that are trained to fill necessary and emerging occupations in our state. As part of higher education’s mission to meet the ever-evolving needs of both students wanting good careers as well as our business folks that want skilled workers, ND Career Builders was developed to help meet those demands.”

The North Dakota University System and institutions across the state are working together with partnership agencies, including the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, North Dakota Commerce Department, the Bank of North Dakota and Job Service of North Dakota to promote this opportunity for students and employers. The scholarship and loan repayment programs target the workforce needs of North Dakota with the overarching goal to reduce the number of unfilled skilled workforce jobs that require a two-year degree or less. Qualifying certificate or degree programs that are four semesters or six quarters or less in length at North Dakota’s public, tribal and private institutions are eligible for the program.

The ND Career Builders scholarship and loan repayment programs are a public-private endeavor - for each dollar of private support, the state will contribute a dollar of public funding. Employers can contribute dollars to match the investment of the state and help employees reduce their student loan debt while filling their workforce needs. Since this is a joint public-private funded program, donations will be accepted for both the scholarship and loan repayment programs by the North Dakota University System. The maximum public support is $3 million for each program; awards will be made until funds are exhausted.

The list of in-demand qualifying careers was developed by the partnership agencies. To apply for the scholarship or loan forgiveness or to see the list of in-demand careers, go to: https://ndus.edu/career-builders/