Alan Gilbertson, an Auto Body Repair and Refinishing Technology student at the North Dakota State College of Science, has been named the first recipient of the new North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship. The scholarship was established by the 2019 Legislative Assembly to encourage students to seek educational opportunities in high-need and emerging occupations within the state.
The North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship provides matching dollars for private sector student sponsorships. Gilbertson was eligible for the scholarship thanks to a sponsorship by Modern Auto Body of Grand Forks, N.D.
“I had learned about sponsorships from NDSCS Career Services,” said Gilbertson. “When Shelley Blome from the Financial Aid office called and told me about the North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship, I was in disbelief.”
NDSCS Director of Financial Aid Shelley Blome has now helped seven students receive funds from the North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship. “We are seeing some students receive more than $10,000 when combining their sponsorship with matching scholarship programs,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for our students to help pay for the cost of their education in these high demand fields.”
For Modern Auto Body General Manager Scott Loscheider, sponsoring a student was a new way to help fill a workforce need, and the North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship supports that effort. He made the decision to sponsor Gilbertson after Gilbertson spent time working at Modern Auto Body for a job shadow experience and summer employment.
“It can be hard to find technicians,” said Loscheider. “By providing a sponsorship, we are able to encourage and support a student who has potential, and to help fill an opening at our shop. I’m glad the state created the North Dakota Career Builders program and I hope it helps more students recognize that going into the trades is a good plan.”
“I want to let people know that this scholarship is available and that you don’t have to sit behind a desk to make money – you can work on cars,” said Gilbertson. “This is a good way to encourage people to get into these careers that need people.”
North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship recipients must live and work in North Dakota for three years following their degree completion, and must be admitted to a qualifying high-demand program. At NDSCS, all academic programs qualify for the scholarship program except for Culinary Arts and Liberal Arts. Additional information about requirements for the North Dakota Career Builders Scholarship is available online at ndscs.edu/ndcareerbuilders.