SBC trains workers for ND oil patch

Nov 6th, 2012 | By | Category: 24-2: The Future of the Tribal College Movement, Tribal College News
By Ron Walters

ENERGY GRADS. Sitting Bull College’s students participate in oil drilling training. Front row, from left: Harriet Blackhoop-SBC Workforce Development Coordinator; Koreen Ressler-SBC Vice President of Academics; Leonico Bald Eagle; Reg MacDonald- Maritime-Instructor; Donise Red Horn; Jodene Flying Horse. Second Row: Candace Eagle-SBC Director of JPTP; Lucas One Horn; Crystal Agard; Eliza Grant; Michael Ranger; Volney Fast Horse-TERO Assistant. Third Row: Kevin One Horn; Dennis Grey Bear; Pertina Crow Ghost; Cole Harrison; Kenton Many Horses; April Pretends Eagle; Brandon Claymore. Fourth Row: Leo Red Horse; Bradford Bearsheart; Henry Jacobson; John Elk; Christopher Ramsey; Michael Wolf Necklace; Peyton White Bull. Back Wall: Roger Leingang.

At the end of June, Sitting Bull College’s Job Placement and Training Program (JPTP), the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO), and the office for the Workforce Investment Act concluded a ten-day oil drilling training.

Harriet Blackhoop, the Workforce Development coordinator at Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND) and Candace Eagle, the JPTP director at SBC, coordinated the training, along with Anna Cotanny and Volney Fast Horse of the tribe’s TERO division.

Reg MacDonald of Maritime Drilling Schools Ltd, based in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, was the classroom instructor. Developed by the school, the program’s curriculum included introduction to oil rigs, drilling theories, rig equipment, identifying rig components, worker roles and responsibilities, safety rules, oral demonstrations, and a final written exam.

All participants accepted into the program were required to pass a drug test and background check before participating.

“Safety is a big issue when working in the oil fields,” Blackhoop said. “Drug tests and background checks are common practices for these types of training programs.”

In a graduation ceremony, 22 participants earned Roughneck Certificates. With additional money from a Walmart Breaking Through – Jobs for the Future grant, each graduate received basic jobsite provisions, including work boots, coveralls, a hard hat, and safety goggles, along with continuing education units.

Awarded to SBC, the Walmart grant also helped pay for participant drug testing, bus passes to and from campus, and costs associated with a field trip to the Bakken oil patch on the last day.

The normal tuition cost for this type of training is $2,500 per student, but because of generous funding from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s TERO division, the training was free to any enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe.

Participants for this inaugural class included tribal members from the Standing Rock reservation and members of other tribes in the region.

For more information, contact Koreen Ressler, Ph.D., (701) 854-8001 or koreenr

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