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Watford City 'Career Academy' now under construction

Courtesy Watford City School

Work has begun on a new Career and Technical Education center in Watford City.

It's called the "Bakken Area Skills Center."

Watford City School Superintendent Steve Holen said the new center is on a 15- to 16-month construction schedule. Holen said the Center will initially focus on health careers, building trades and automation.

"Those relate to the oilfield and energy industry in our area," Holen said. "It was a need that was identified."

Holen said when discussions for the center began a few years ago, it was an energy-and-workforce-related initiative, combining the school district's efforts with what the industry was looking for.

"A lot of the programming will be based on the ability to adapt and adjust to the industry, and the workforce needs of the area," Holen said.

And Holen said once the Center opens, he expects there will be a lot of interest.

"We know there are workforce needs," Holen said. "And it is a proactive stance, to take the workforce we have and do the training, and prepare for the next level."

Holen said he assumes it will be a busy place.

"As always, you can't build it big enough," Holen said.

Holen said the district already has $6.7 million on hand for the $10 million project. He said the other $3.3 million would come from federal coronavirus relief funds – when the state receives that money.

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