By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $400,000 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS’s Building Control Systems Training Initiative.
The grant will update the equipment for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology program. It will provide more simulated and hands-on learning experiences for students in both commercial and residential HVAC.
“This training initiative is made possible through a partnership with Trane, a nationally recognized leader in HVAC equipment,” Barbara Bang, NDSCS Dean of technologies and services division said. “This state-of-the-art lab will be unique for a large region of the country. Additionally, our students will have the opportunity to earn nationally recognized industry credentials through the National Coalition of Certification Centers.”
Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of state to private funds.
“Workforce enhancement grants help to increase the capacity of our higher education institutions, like NDSCS, to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers,” said Wayde Sick, workforce development director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”
Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruitment, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.
The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to www.NDCommerce.com.
View the news release online at http://www.commerce.nd.gov/news/ppp/.
North Dakota State College of Science will hold a free Program Preview event on Tuesday, November 15 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at NDSCS-Fargo, located at 1305 19th Avenue North, for students interested in taking classes at the Fargo location.
Prospective students will have the opportunity to visit with admissions and financial aid staff, as well as faculty from the Business Management, Liberal Arts, Information Communications Technology, Paramedic Technology and Welding Technology departments.
The Program Preview event is free, and no registration is necessary. Additional information is available online at ndscs.edu/previewdays, or by calling 701-231-6935.
By Frank Stanko
Do I have reasonable doubt about deciding a young man is guilty of murder?
That’s the question asked by “Twelve Angry Men” in the play directed by Melissa Frank. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 8, it will be performed only three times at North Dakota State College of Science’s Bremer Bank Theatre. Despite the name, “Twelve Angry Men” has an equal amount of male and female actors in its cast.
Over the course of the play, Juror No. 8 (Daniel Paluck) uses logic and reasoning to explain why he initially cast the one vote against convicting the young man. His strongest opposition comes from Juror No. 3 (Tory Safranski), a mother who makes her decisions more from the heart than the head.
“The jurors slowly come to realize that the events and witnesses presented by the prosecution may not be reliable,” Frank said. “They admit that the accused may in fact be guilty of the crime, but since there is a reasonable doubt, they cannot convict.”
As this happens, the audience learns more about the personal lives and beliefs of each juror. According to Frank, none of her cast was given a name or occupation for his or her character, providing them with a mostly blank slate. She was, however, “greatly inspired” by the 1957 Academy Award-nominated film “12 Angry Men,” which starred Henry Fonda. The film was renamed and adapted by Reginald Rose from his 1954 made-for-television play “Twelve Angry Men.” It subsequently was adapted again by Sherman L. Sergel to be performed on the stage.
“I thought, ‘Well, I’m a very angry person at times — (when) traffic is killer’ — why not bring some of that out and just make the nastiest character ever so Dan looks like a sweetheart?” Safranski remembered. “I try to find (a characterization) that’s consistent, sounds good and is believable.”
Late in the play, Juror No. 10 (Noah Dobmeier) gives a monologue revealing his bigotry and paranoia. As he’s speaking, each member of the cast eventually turns his or her back on him.
“There’s a lot of different ways that he thinks, but he has trouble verbalizing them. There’s a kind of agony and frustration with that. I think it’s really fun to watch that boil over when I go on my page-long racist monologue,” said Dobmeier, who added that it was challenging and exhilarating to make the audience think, believe and feel “Wow, I really don’t like him.”
Because nearly half of the play’s actors have previously worked with Frank, she said there’s an ease in knowing what to expect from each other.
“It would be easy for me to give the larger parts (entirely) to the veteran actors, but if I did that, I would have never known how awesome Noah is as Juror No. 10. He learned his lines early on and has been one of my most reliable actors … I had no hesitation in casting (Paluck) as the lead. He has a natural charm that the audience will be drawn to,” she added.
“Twelve Angry Men” features one set, the jury room which becomes stifling as the air conditioning fails. According to Frank, having one set allows the actors to stay in character.
“With this being the first dramatic play that I have directed, I wanted it to be a challenge, but not overwhelming,” she said.
Among the cast members is Randy King of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Like his character, Juror No. 9, King is older than the other cast members.
“While I am able to cast from the community, the majority of my actors are college students in their early 20s,” Frank said. “Unless you are a really strong actor, it is difficult to play someone significantly older than you. You don’t have the life experience to pull from. Fortunately, I felt the script gave me options. Juror No. 9 is a keen observer of people and had closely watched the prosecution’s witnesses, an older man and a middle-aged woman, whom he understood and with whom he identified. … I was fortunate to have Randy step into the role, which he fits perfectly.”
Earlier in his acting career, King played Juror No. 11, an immigrant tailor (now played as a seamstress by Lanae Ekberg). He didn’t find it challenging to work with college-aged actors.
“When I came to the first rehearsal and saw the cast was mixed (having men and women), I thought, ‘This is going to be different,’” King remembered. “But it works really well.”
Among the other angry people is Mel Kompelien’s Juror No. 7, who’s impatient and quick with her wit.
“When we (were rehearsing), you’d come out at the end and there’d be a moment where you’d say, ‘Oh, it’s done. Okay, I have to breathe a bit and now we’re good,” Kompelien said.
For Sam Bartz, whose Juror No. 7 teams up with Juror No. 6 (Elysee Mahangama) to stop Safranski from fighting with Paluck, physical acting is something to “roll with.”
“When I’m holding Tory back, that part is really well acted out in my opinion. It’s like I’m actually trying to fight her,” he said.
For Frank, “Twelve Angry Men” is a play that’s still “absolutely relevant” in how it emphasizes facts before the matter of who the defendant is.
“I hope the audience gets involved and thinks ‘I’m a part of this’ and this is actually occurring in real life. This is not just a play, people are doing this in real life. Everything just goes around in circles” said Emma Jensen, who plays Juror No. 1.
Also in the cast are Walker Bonn as Juror No. 2, Hope Krumm as Juror No. 4, Mike Martens as Juror No. 12, Carly Eback as the guard and Madison Nelson-Gira as the judge.
Performances of “Twelve Angry Men” are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 through Thursday, Nov. 10. It will run approximately 90 minutes. The Bremer Bank Theatre is in NDSCS’ Stern Cultural Center. Admission is free, with donations and non-perishable food pantry items appreciated.
Read the full article online at wahpetondailynews.com.
The North Dakota State College of Science Performing Arts Department will present its fall play, Twelve Angry Men, nightly at 7:00 p.m. November 8-10, 2016 in the Bremer Bank Theatre in the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton. Admission to the play is free.
Twelve Angry Men, based on the Emmy award winning television movie by Reginald Rose, is adapted by Sherman L. Sergel and produced by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois.