Sitting Bull College Provides Training for North Dakota Oil Patch

10-day, Oil Drilling Training program concluded on June 29 and was co-sponsored by Sitting Bull Col­lege’s Job Place­ment and Train­ing Program (JPTP), the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Tribal Employ­ment Rights Office (TERO) and office for the Workforce Investment Act.

Front Row, L:R: 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, L:R: Candace Eagle-SBC Director of JPTP; Lucas One Horn; Crystal Agard; Eliza Grant; Michael Ranger; Volney Fast Horse- TERO Assistant. Third Row, L:R: Kevin One Horn; Dennis Grey Bear; Pertina Crow Ghost; Cole Harrison; Kenton Many Horses; April Pretends Eagle; Brandon Claymore. Fourth Row, L:R: Leo Red Horse; Bradford Bearsheart; Henry Jacobson; John Elk; Christopher Ramsey; Michael Wolf Necklace; Peyton White Bull. Back Wall: Roger Leingang

Harriet Blackhoop, the Workforce Development Coordinator at Sitting Bull College and Candace Eagle, the JPTP Di­rector at Sitting Bull College, coordinated the Oil Drilling Training, along with Anna Cotanny and Volney Fast Horse of the tribe’s TERO division.

Roughneck Certificates were pre­sented to each graduate, with classroom instruction given by Reg MacDonald of Maritime Drilling Schools Ltd, based in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The curriculum for the program was originally developed by the Mari­time Drilling School and 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.

“Initially, 23 people enrolled in the class and 22 participants successfully graduated with a certificate of comple­tion,” Blackhoop said. “A graduation ceremony was held on June 27 and I’m so proud of our graduates.”

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

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

With additional money from a Walmart Breaking Through-Jobs for the Future grant, each graduate received some basic job site provisions, includ­ing work boots, coveralls, a hard hat and safety goggles, along with Continuing Education Units (CEU).

The Walmart grant was awarded to Sitting Bull College and also helped pay for participant drug testing, bus passes to and from campus and costs associated with a field trip 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, this recent 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 Reservations in the region.

The program ended with a class field trip to the Bakken Oil patch on June 29.

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