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Providing community access to continuing education, workforce training, business development, and enrichment opportunities


Have you been wondering about post-secondary education, needing to find a training class for your job, or exploring a hobby? The McKenzie County Skills Initiative offers these opportunities at the Rough Rider Center:


The University of Mary has been working with Watford City since 2013. They offer educational opportunities including:
  • Master Degree Programs: Education; Counseling; Business Administration; Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science Programs: Business Management; Business Administration; Accounting; Healthcare Administration; Marketing; RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Nondegree coursework that can lead to degrees and work with community employers to offer seminar-style trainings; and
  • Collaboration with Williston State College for students seeking a bachelor's degree after completing their associate's degree coursework.

For more information visit their website, email enroll@umary.edu or call 701-355-8030.



Williston State College offers transfer programs leading to Associate in Arts and Associate in Science Degrees. Students can complete the first two years of many majors and transfer with junior status to most four-year colleges and universities.

  • General Ed course delivery: Leading to an AA/AS degree or as part of preparation to begin a BA/BS program. Courses may be delivered via the IVN network, internet, or as a blended course.
  • CTE course delivery: In Welding Technology, Petroleum Technology, Information Technology, and Diesel Technology, leading to a Certificate or AAS degree. Courses may be delivered via the IVN network, internet, or as a blended course.
  • First-term and first-year advising.
  • Dual Credit/Early Entry General Ed Course Delivery: General education and selected CTE courses may be delivered to Watford City HS in real time using a high school instructor. 
For more information visit their website or call: 701-774-4200


TrainND Northwest provides customized training programs designed to serve the specific needs businesses. They offer courses designed to help develop new skills or to stay abreast of technology and trends central to a business's bottom line. Further, they offer enrichment classes to help one develop hobbies and other life skills.

For more information visit their website, email safety.training@willistonstate.edu or call: 701-572-2835



The North Dakota Small Business Development Center helps small businesses start, manage and grow their businesses. Confidentially and free of charge, they provide business counseling services to those looking to start a business or make changes with their current business.

For more information contact Keith Olson at 701-570-4260 or visit their website.

Cost, start-dates, and enrollment all vary depending upon the services provider. Contact them directly using the information above or contact Daniel Stenberg, McKenzie County Economic Development Coordinator at dstenberg@co.mckenzie.nd.us | 701-444-7419.

The goal of the McKenzie County Skills Initiative is to make McKenzie County more attractive and marketable for businesses and residents by improving community access to workforce training, retention, and recruitment; degree seeking opportunities; business development; and community enrichment. It is overseen by the McKenzie County Job Development Authority.  



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