The ND Career Builders Scholarship and Loan Repayment program, instituted by the 2019 North Dakota Legislative Assembly, has been actively awarding scholarships and loan repayment since August 2019. Since its inception, the North Dakota University System has visited with hundreds of representatives from business, industry, healthcare and community economic development offices both one-on-one and at conferences across the state. Presentations are ongoing with interested workforce partners and private support to match state dollars continues.

The program was created for business to attract and retain talent into high need and emerging occupations in the state and fill skilled-workforce positions.  The program is a partnership between the state, business, institutions, students and employees. 

Since August, the ND Career Builders initiative, with the private-sector and state match, has helped 14 various occupations in the state and awarded more than $165,000 in scholarships and student loan repayments. These dollars have helped recruit employees into skilled workforce positions throughout the state.

“The importance of replacing our retiring skilled workers is a city of Devils Lake priority. By using the Career Builders scholarship and loan repayment programs along with our own tuition & loan reimbursement program, we are able to help those graduating high school seniors get sponsored by a local or regional business who is in need of critical skilled workers. To date, we have had four Career Builders Scholarship participants and have 18 students waiting to get matched up with a business sponsor,” said Brad Barth, executive director of Forward Devils Lake Corporation.

The high-need and emerging occupations list, developed by Workforce Development Council and Job Service ND, drives the program. The list includes seventy-five individual occupations including nursing, computer programing, cyber security, electrician, welding, petroleum engineer and numerous others. To see the list of qualifying occupations and learn more about the opportunities for scholarship and loan repayment visit ndus.edu/career-builders

The uniqueness of this program is that it is a dollar-for-dollar matching program whereby the state will contribute $1 for every $1 of private-sector matching dollars received for a recipient.  “This helps business leverage their recruitment dollars with the state dollars to create attractive recruitment and retention packages for high demand and emerging occupations. Recipients agree to live in ND and work in a high-demand or emerging occupation for three years to receive the full benefit of the program. While business gains a qualified employee, for the recipient, the program provides an opportunity to access and afford in-demand degrees, as well as reduce loan indebtedness,” said NDUS Vice Chancellor Lisa Johnson. 

Under either the scholarship or loan repayment, individuals may qualify for up to $17,000. 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/.  Contact the program administrator, NDUS, at 701-328-2906 or at ndfinaid@ndus.edu with questions.