Training for Regional Energy in North Dakota (TREND) is a consortium of five community colleges that are collaborating to address labor shortages in the state’s energy sector. Leaders from these institutions are equipping workers with post-secondary certificates and credentials in order to meet employers’ needs for a skilled workforce, as well as to help ensure that workers can access and succeed in this rapidly expanding sector. To this end, TREND will pursue the following strategies:
1. Develop new and enhanced curricula and credentials to help students find jobs in oil and gas, transportation and building and construction trades in North Dakota;
2. Redesign the program development and delivery systems provided by the colleges to support more flexible and technology-enabled learning; and
3. Offer enhanced student support services and career navigation to increase retention and placement.
The Ray Marshall Center (RMC) has joined with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) as an external program evaluator for this project. In order to determine how TREND is implemented, as well as its outcomes, CSW and RMC have proposed an integrated evaluation approach that includes both an implementation and an impact evaluation. This grant is funded by the Department of Labor and will run through 2016.