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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million to Establish Workforce Training Center for Programs in Electrical Infrastructure in Mandan, North Dakota

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4 million grant to the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Mandan, North Dakota, to construct a new lineworker training facility in Mandan. The EDA grant will be matched with more than $1 million in local investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to supporting opportunities for technical training in order to provide jobs for Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This investment will provide North Dakota with the skilled electrical workforce it needs to grow, thrive, and make the region’s economy more resilient in the face of future natural disasters.”

“Severe weather in the fall and winter of 2019 significantly impacted North Dakota’s economy,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The new electrical lineworker workforce training facility being built by the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives will support locally-driven economic resiliency efforts and provide year-round support for the creation of new jobs in rural North Dakota communities.”

“This investment for a new training facility will benefit North Dakota, and the region, for many years to come,” said Senator John Hoeven. “Electric cooperatives provide affordable, reliable power for North Dakota’s communities and are critical to the quality of life in rural areas. By providing access to proper certification and training, this facility will enhance our work force, enabling electric providers to keep rural America strong by powering our homes and businesses.”

“As the son of a rural electric lineman, I have witnessed firsthand the pivotal role these workers play in North Dakota’s communities,” said Senator Kevin Cramer. “This investment by the Trump Administration will strengthen our workforce and better prepare us for natural disasters.”

“Technical training is more than a path to a job, it’s a path to a career,” said Congressman Kelly Armstrong. “With the construction of this new lineworker training facility in Mandan, President Trump is fulfilling his promise to support education and training for the next generation of workers. The men and women trained in this new facility will help keep the lights on throughout North Dakota for years to come.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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