Construction To Start On Worker Training Facility

WILLISTON, N.D. – Work will begin this week on a new TrainND workforce training facility here after the oil industry provided nearly $1 million in donations.

TrainND’s Northwest Center at Williston State College proposed a building project to more than double its size and offer more programs. The $7.5 million project had funding from a variety of sources, but needed about $1 million more, said CEO Deanette Piesik.

Last week, Oasis Petroleum presented TrainND with a donation of $165,000 during the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. That contribution, along with $150,000 from Statoil and $150,000 from Steel Energy Services, allowed the project to move forward this construction season, Piesik said.

Several other energy companies have also made smaller donations or committed dollars to the project.

“We feel we’re very close to the $1 million,” Piesik said.

In 2013, TrainND in Williston provided training to 386 businesses and 11,200 participants, including some who took more than one training course.

Oasis CEO Tommy Nusz said the company wanted to partner with TrainND, where Oasis employees receive training on drilling rig operations, commercial driver’s license training and technical training such as well control.

“What we want to do is make sure that when people go to work every day, they come back in the same condition that they left,” Nusz said.

The new 19,740-square-foot training and educational center will allow TrainND to offer more technical oilfield programs. TrainND also plans to diversify to offer workforce training in construction, health care and other industries that are expanding in northwest North Dakota.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held recently and construction gets under way this week, Piesik said.

TrainND is still seeking another $500,000 in donations for a parking lot and other features, she said.

Funding sources include $1.75 million from the Department of Trust Lands, $2.5 million from the Bank of North Dakota and $500,000 in matching funds from the North Dakota Board of Higher Education and $750,000 from the city of Williston’s STAR Fund.