Funds to help new Americans and underemployed individuals
The North Dakota State College of Science Skills Development Project has received a $2,500 donation from Bank of the West. The funds will be used to assist new Americans and underemployed individuals gain self-sufficient standards of living for themselves and their families.
“Bank of the West is proud to partner with the Skills Development Project as part of its Community Reinvestment Program by supporting skill training for new Americans as well as the underemployed in the southeast region of North Dakota,” said Darren Krein, Bank of the West vice president and branch manager. Krein and Chantelle Barth, Bank of the West assistant customer service manager, recently presented the funds to Janie Hulett, NDSCS director of the Skills Development Project.
“The Bank of the West contribution is deeply appreciated and will be used to directly support individuals in need of skill training,” said Hulett. The Skills Development Project focuses on preparing clients for jobs in manufacturing as well as in the certified nursing assistant field, where many job openings are available.
The Skills Development Project’s mission is to provide new Americans and underemployed individuals with professional assessment of personal needs and goals, followed by individualized job skill training that enables them to obtain a higher standard of living for themselves and their families.
Manufacturing companies have identified skill gaps that exist in the labor force including effective communication with co-workers, problem solving, math and ability to read blueprints.
The SDP manufacturing training includes lessons on safety, operating power and hand tools, operation of forklifts and reading blueprints. Soft skill training includes decision-making, problem solving, speaking with confidence and teamwork. The program involves 14 hours of leadership training, introduction to computers, Microsoft Word and Excel, and keyboarding skills.
In addition to regular manufacturing training, a four-week course in pre-vocational manufacturing “workplace language” continues to meet the workplace English needs of new immigrants while enhancing their English language skills. This class provides intensive language training with a focus on workplace vocabulary. It also focuses on learning the names and uses of hand and power tools, becoming familiar with safety practices and mastering workplace math, which is essential for reading blueprints.
In the manufacturing training, test scores are higher for those individuals who have taken pre-vocational training. New Americans who are hired without completing the pre-vocational/manufacturing training are generally paid about $3 per hour less than those who complete SDP.
In 2012, those who completed the SDP manufacturing program averaged $11.65 an hour and Certified Nursing Assistants earned $11.67 per hour.
Employers interview and select graduates for career openings at the Skills Development training site located at NDSCS-Fargo.
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