Moving Forward with a CTE Center in Minot

Dr. Steven W. Shirley
President, Minot State University
Published October 3, 2020 in the Minot Daily News

As you may have recently heard, plans are continuing to move forward for a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center in Minot. This project traces its roots back to funding through the National Disaster Resilience Competition grant that was awarded to the City of Minot in 2016 by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Due to the complexity of the project along with some of the federal guidelines, it has taken some time to get to this point, but we are continuing to move forward as we now look ahead to a planned opening of the Center in Fall 2022.

Minot State University (MSU) and Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) have partnered and worked closely throughout the planning stages of this project. Minot Public Schools, with their outstanding CTE programs, have also been a key partner during the planning phases. The Minot City Council, City Administration officials, Trinity Health and its Board of Directors, Minot Area Development Corporation, the Magic Fund Screening Committee, and Tim Mihalick, serving as chair of the Mayor’s IEDC Interagency Stakeholder Task Force, are all to be applauded for their efforts and broad support in bringing this project closer to reality.

The future home for the CTE Center will be a Trinity property that is scheduled to be vacated with the opening of the new Trinity Hospital. The location is at 120 Burdick Expressway East in Minot. Due to its accessible location, ample parking, and the ideal size and condition of the building, this 120 Burdick facility represents a perfect site for a CTE Center while also adding to the vibrancy of downtown Minot.

North Dakota’s other major population centers all have a full complement of CTE programs in their communities (or ready access in an adjacent city). That is not the situation in Minot, and it is a current deficiency for our city and for this region of the state. We lose young people to other parts of the state where there is broader access to 1- and 2-year academic programs, and in many cases those students never return to Minot or north central North Dakota. That represents a net gain in human talent for other communities in our state while it is a net loss of critical workforce for Minot. This ongoing result is deleterious for our community’s future. We need to change that equation, and a CTE Center can help reverse the situation. As stated, Minot Public Schools already has a wonderful complement of Career and Technical Education programs, and this new Center can build on those existing assets by creating additional opportunities for young adults in our community.

Academic programs that are planned to initially be offered in the new CTE Center include such areas as Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Dealer Parts Management, Hospitality and Tourism, Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, and Golf & Turf Management. Additional programs can certainly be added in future years as the Center grows. These offerings will supplement some of the existing programs currently being offered in Minot by DCB in areas such as Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Information Technology, Practical and Associate Degree Nursing, and Paramedic Technology.

As a community college, DCB will offer the CTE degrees that will be conferred, but MSU will also certainly benefit with the addition of this new Center. Some of the course offerings that make up the curriculum of these programs can be offered via MSU classes, and we can also expect some of the students who finish an associate’s degree to continue on with their education and transfer into a baccalaureate program at Minot State. This is a proverbial win-win situation for MSU, DCB, and most importantly for the community of Minot and this region of North Dakota.

As always….Go Beavers!