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BSC could become national center for power plant training

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – Bismarck State College could receive a designation as a "national leader in energy plant operator training."

Senator Byron Dorgan added that language to the Senate version of the energy bill.

The program's chair -- Gordon Binek -- says BSC has been training operators for 30 years -- and had 500 students enrolled on campus and on-line during the spring semester. Binek says this designation will help attract more U-S and foreign students.

"There's an estimate that something like 50 to 75,000 people are going to be retiring from that industry over the next decade," said Binek. "The plants are wondering where the next generation of operators will come from. That's where we want to reach those folks."

The House version of the energy bill does NOT have this language. Dorgan says he's one of the conferees -- and he says he'll push to have that language be included in the compromise.