Bakken Area Skills Center Now Open

A Facility Built To Increase Availability Of Career, Technical Education & Training For High School Students & Incumbent Workers Starting Its 1st Year

The Bakken Area Skills Center, a facility built to increase the availability of career and technical education and training for high school students and incumbent workers throughout the Bakken region, was completed in 2023 and began holding classes on Jan. 15.

The Bakken Area Skills Center is owned and primarily operated by McKenzie County School District #1. According to the Watford City School district website,, that vision was to provide in-demand training opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the region's workforce through collaborative partnerships with secondary education, post-secondary education/training, and local employers. With 100 students taking classes at the BASC at this time and an additional 28 students enrolled in their alternative school that meets there, it is well on its way to fulfilling the vision set forth by McKenzie County School District #1 organizers.

The facility spans 40,000 sq. ft. on 40 acres of land. There are four shop areas for building trades, welding, auto/diesel mechanics, and automation. There are two complete health career classrooms for LPN and ADN programs. There are also two general rooms, two larger conference rooms, offices, a health screening room, testing area, four exterior pad areas, and a Corp of Discovery/mobile trailer. There are virtual programs like Agriculture Processing, Farm and Ranch Management, Intro into Health Careers, Health Science 1, Medical Terminology, Intro to Sports Medicine, Nursing Assistant (CNA), CDL and Drone/UAS. There are also programs planned for welding, information technology, aviation, and career development. They also have a Mobile Meats Lab, Mobile Automation Lab, and Tools Library to go out to regional schools.

The Bakken Area Skills Center is located at 2112 Wolves Den Parkway, Watford City. and is currently open. According to Daniel Stenberg, McKenzie County economic development director, there are adult classes for nursing and oil field being put on by the Bismarck State College and Williston State College. Classes for high schoolers will start later this spring.


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