James Valley Career and Technical Center Honoring, Helping and Honing Home-Grown Talent

James Valley Career and Technical Center Honoring, Helping and Honing Home-Grown Talent Main Photo

28 Apr 2023


As the Jamestown/Stutsman area continues to develop, local institutions are designing programs that foster the local workforce and regional identity. Creating programs tailored to local needs and the younger populations in the broader area, The James Valley Career and Technical Center is dedicated to developing home-grown talent. 

Through measurable support like co-ops with local businesses, sponsorships, and dual credit-programs, students at James Valley CTC find many opportunities to stay within the region. In return, local businesses are met with a workforce tailored to their industries and needs. 

Co-Op Opportunities and Sponsorships Keep Talent Local

Darby Heinert, Assistant Director of James Valley CTC, states that keeping talent within the region is their main goal. By partnering with local businesses in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and more, they’re able to source and grow local connections. “We’re all about trying to keep our students local. One way we’ve been able to do that is by networking with area businesses through co-op opportunities which eventually lead to sponsorships if the student’s performing well.” 

By studying local industries, James Valley CTC also answers area needs. Based on industry fluctuations within the community, they adjust and expand their curriculum. “We were the first career center in the state of North Dakota to develop a short track to be an RN. During our last study, we had over 125 vacancies of RNs in Stutsman Country alone. So we’re trying to get our kids into that field.” 

Heinert states that through the CTC, North Dakota youth don’t need to look out of state for education. “If healthcare agencies have an opportunity to work with our kids, they can build a relationship with them, sponsor them, and help them with tuition costs. When you factor that in with a state scholarship, suddenly it becomes incredibly advantageous for a student to stay local.”

Curriculum Rooted in North Dakota’s Agricultural Past, Present, and Future

In North Dakota, the agriculture industry holds great cultural significance. “Agriculture is North Dakota’s number one industry, and it’s also North Dakota’s oldest industry. Those ties run deep here,” Heinert states. To continue to develop the region’s relationship with agriculture, Heinert states that James Valley CTC is creating pathways for alternative areas of agriculture.  “We’re setting our sights into some unique areas of agriculture. There’s a number of businesses that are looking for people in sales. Right now we’re on the agriculture side of processing, but we’re also interested in the culinary side of things.” 

At the same time, Heinert states that they make sure to value and encourage historic agricultural careers. “There’s the traditional route. We have a number of kids that are going to go back and work the farm, or work the ranch. So our program supports them in that capacity as well.” 

James Valley CTC Provides Pathways For Businesses and Workers

James Valley CTC provides options for students and businesses. Heinert, moreover, believes that CTE is one of the most powerful initiatives within North Dakota, “It’s great that CTE is here. If truth be told, it’s the best connection North Dakota has right now in terms of keeping our home-grown talent right here in North Dakota. It’s unparalleled.” 

With a ready workforce, there are many reasons for businesses to choose the Jamestown/Stutsman area. Heinert believes that organizations like Jamestown/Stutsman County Development Corporation (JSDC) help expand business initiatives and grow the community. “The JSDC is something I don’t take for granted. For them to partner with us, and recognize the value was huge. Honestly, it’s the only reason we were able to move forward with our expansion project.” To read more about CTE and different initiatives within the region, click here.