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Industrial Commission approves spending federal grants for Guard buildings, food systems, and teacher apprenticeships

North Dakota Emergency Commission
Dave Thompson
North Dakota Emergency Commission

North Dakota's Emergency Commission has approved spending federal grant dollars on several issues — including National Guard building projects, teacher apprenticeships and food systems infrastructure.

The three North Dakota National Guard building projects include another $515,000 for completion of a bridge training site at Camp Grafton, $5.3 million will come for the completion of the Dickinson Readiness Center, and another $2 million for the Camp Grafton fitness center.

"What we've seen at this time is increased construction and labor costs," Deputy Adjutant General Jackie Huber told the Commission. She said the money came from a competitive grant process.

Gov. Doug Burgum — who chairs the Commission — gave the Guard props for getting the money.

"There's projects going on all over the country, where everybody said 'We have an over-run,'" Burgum said. "This is a win for North Dakota.'

The Commission also okayed spending $4 million in federal grant dollars for teacher apprenticeships. A statement from the Department of Public Instruction said this will help "classroom paraprofessionals become full-fledged teachers."

The 2023 Legislature appropriated $3 million for that teacher apprenticeship program.

The Commission also approved the state Agriculture Department’s request to receive $2.8 million in federal funds for a “Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said the money will support expanded capacity for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products.

"The overall objective and goal is to increase diversity in processing options," Goehring told the Commission. "It's also to help with transforming the food system, so it better serves consumers, processors and producers."

Goehring said it will hopefully address food insecurity in some communities.

All of the requests need to be approved by the Legislature's Budget Section, which meets Sept. 21.

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