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Seventeen projects apply for CTE funding

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Seventeen projects have applied for funding from the North Dakota Career and Technical Education board.

$88 million was set aside for these “career academies” – places where high school students can go to explore careers that are in-tune with what industry needs. The $88 million includes money from the coronavirus relief funds the state has received.

The deadline was Dec. 31, 2021.

CTE director Wayde Sick said the 17 applications total $117 million.

"There will be some difficult conversations and decisions we'll have to make," Sick told the CTE board. He said the state was approved for the money – but it’s pending federal approval of a “grant plan” for that money. He said the state’s Office of Management and Budget will likely submit that grant plan very soon.

Of that $88 million, $20 million will be allocated to three projects that submitted plans by an earlier deadline of Oct. first, 2021. The $20 million is already there.

Sick said the Capitol Projects Review Committee looked at 5 “shovel ready” projects for a share of that $20 million – and the panel awarded money for three projects -- the Southwest Area CTE Academy in Dickinson, the Minot Area Workforce Academy, and the Bakken Area Skills Center in Watford City. Each one will receive $6.6 million. And they will be eligible for the new federal money to complete their $10 million projects.

"Having more projects, more applications, than we have funding available is not a great thing," Sick said. "But it shows a need, and it shows an argument for the 2023 Legislative session."

Of the remaining 14 applications, two have been rejected. The applicants were given more time to tweak their projects, to meet the state's proposed plans. That led to the Dec. 31st deadline.

The two that were rejected were centers in Dunseith and Belcourt. Sick said they did not make the necessary changes.

One CTE board member asked if those applications could be resubmitted for later funding.

"The fact that the two didn't address those things kept me up at night,' Sick told the Board. "This is a high-need area. But I don't think it would be fair to the other 15 applicants that did follow the guidance, to re-open the application process."

The review committee will meet soon to look at the other 12 applications.

Up to $10 million would be allocated per project. A local match is required.

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