Students and parents alike gathered at the Bowman High School last Thursday night to learn about future career opportunities at the Bank of North Dakota led Career Discovery night. According to Cindy Sanford, the leader of education outreach and college planning for the Bank of North Dakota, the Career Discovery event offered North Dakota communities a chance to learn about current workforce needs and career possibilities.
By Frank Turner
The Bank of North Dakota has facilitated similar career learning events across the state since 2010. Sanford said the event was created with the intention of educating both parents and students on what career options and information are available. Ultimately, the bank wants to both help students while securing a future workforce for North Dakota.
“North Dakota has an estimated 30,000 available jobs, and we need people to stay in North Dakota,” said Sanford. “The idea was to educate both parents and the students to let them know what all the options are out there… We want to open up those doors, start that conversation, and let them know what is going on in the career field.
To share their message, the Bank of North Dakota teamed up with four other North Dakota focused organizations. Specifically, the Department of Commerce gave a presentation on college and job choices, Career and Technical Education presented on career planning, the Department of Instruction gave a presentation on scholarships, and the Bank of North Dakota presented on financial literacy and gave a life 101 presentation.
Students participated in a handful of engaging activities to teach them basic personal finance and future preparation skills. Each presentation gave students and parents new and relevant career resources to explore. Sanford said students were especially engaged with a hands-on demonstration of personal finance.
“We actually had play money and we talked about how to budget,” she said. “It was fun because we had parents engaged in the activity and it was very interactive.”
The Bank of North Dakota also gave away a drone as a door prize. The drone, donated to the event by Tioga Drone Camp for Kids, was given to Bowman Senior Teddy Garner.
Overall, 90 people attend Career Discovery night. Sanford said that both parents and students were very receptive to the event. After the event, over 70 people reported the event as either satisfactory or very satisfactory through response surveys.
“You know how important the cause is when you have four different agencies travel across North Dakota to give out this information,” said Sanford.