Opportunity Begins With Enrollment in New American Worker Program

Enrollment is now open for a new manufacturing certificate program for New Americans in the Grand Forks region! Northland Community & Technical College will be the host of the 17-week program that will help new Americans to acquire the skills necessary to be successful in careers in manufacturing and beyond. With guidance from local businesses, non-profit organizations and Job Service ND, the new program will prepare individuals who speak English as a second language with skills such as digital literacy, language, workplace culture and manufacturing skills. The program is scheduled to begin March 7, 2016 and space is limited.

Teaching our New American students is especially rewarding for the instructors at Northwest Minnesota Service Cooperative – East Grand Forks. Students come to the U.S. at all educational levels. Some students have no understanding of the alphabet, while other students have earned a high school diploma from their host country while living in a refugee camp. Students work diligently toward their goals and appreciate the educational support they receive. Goals range from learning letters, passing the permit test, acquiring their first jobs, using the bus system, understanding the culture and norms of the workplace, to college preparation.

On Feb. 23, 2016, an event to showcase the Manufacturing Certificate Program will be held at the Grand Forks ND Job Service office. The event will be a chance for potential participants to learn about the training in person, get an assessment test of language on site to ensure qualification and answer any questions in regards to instruction on the next steps.

Those interested in enrolling in the program before the event are urged to come in to Northland Community & Technical College and speak with Susan Snedeker (Center for Outreach & Innovation), Angela Nagel, or Ellen Anton (Adult Basic Education teachers) to get signed up. The class is limited to the first 25 participants to sign up. The cost of the 17-week program is $150. Those facing financial barriers are encouraged to come in and learn about possible alternative funding sources that might be available to help them overcome any financial obstacles.

This program offers the students an opportunity to advance their understanding of the workplace from the classroom to actual hands on manufacturing skills training. Students will practice reading skills, math skills, and digital literacy skills. Upon completion of the course, students will receive an OSHA Safety Certificate, and they will build a working resume to present to future employers.

According to NCTC dean Brian Huschle, “This program can be the bridge for the new members of our community to gain the skills they need to be truly successful in the manufacturing workplace.” He concluded, “These are members of our community, and Northland is in a great position now, with resources and connections with business partners and other groups, to take the lead in helping them rise.”

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.