job bank

Career Innovation Center Update

Category: Build-Remodel-Topics

Leaders expect to welcome students in fall of 2023

As the Career Innovation Center building site in south Fargo buzzes with activity, administrative work is also underway to develop meaningful programming. The center is located at 4230 64th Ave. S. and will provide a collaborative education and training solution to meet regional workforce needs.

Within the CIC, North Dakota State College of Science will provide training and academic programming alongside Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo Public Schools, Central Cass School District and Northern Cass School District.
This centrally located education and training center will provide career awareness events for elementary students, career identification and preparation (including early-entry college classes) activities for middle and high school students and training/learning spaces for NDSCS students and trainees.

HBA CEO Bryce Johnson says,

“Our entire local construction industry, along with HBA of F-M and Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation leaders, continue eagerly watching progress. We know that our members welcome opportunities to assist in developing programming and work with the students.”



Above: An artist's rendering of the CIC's lobby.


The CIC was initially expected to open in August 2022, but complications with moisture and supplies have pushed the projected timeframe to June 2023. Its managing entity, the North Dakota State College of Science Alumni Foundation expects the building to welcome students in the fall of 2023. 

When it comes to construction, NDSCS President Dr. John Richman told HBA that,

“the CIC team is confident they can keep the project on track and within budget. They are working with EAPC (the architect) and Comstock Construction to align the construction timeline to material and availability."

He said, "The contributions and support HBA members have provided are of great importance and this project wouldn’t be moving forward without your commitment. Thank you!”



Above: A rendering of the CIC's main entrance.


CIC has applied for a $10 million, one-time grant available through the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education’s Federal Coronavirus Career and Technical Education Capital Projects recovery program. Grant awards must be matched 1:1. That’s feasible thanks, in part, to the generosity of HBA members and Home Builders Care Foundation supporters. NDSCS expects to hear about the grant by November.

Johnson and HBA President Kim Hochhalter, Building Concepts, Inc., met with Richman, NDSCS Alumni Association Executive Director Kim Nelson and Cass County Career & Technical Education Director Dr. Denise Jonas to discuss how Association members might contribute to the CIC. Stay tuned for more in this area: NDSCS’s top priorities are the building, acquiring the grants and getting to the next phase so all programs can be moving at the same time.


Above: NDSCS, HBA and Home Builders Care Foundation leaders at the CIC groundbreaking in July.


Educational leaders are collaborating to create student programs now. A top priority is matching programs that give students the skills and training required to fulfill the employer needs.


Down the road, HBA members can expect to participate in programs by helping submitting job descriptions to ensure program relevance and having opportunities to mentor students who have enrolled in related classes or expressed interest in the tasks. Tours of the building site are already available by contacting Walker Busse at Comstock Construction.

There will be aggressive efforts to attract New Americans who have relocated into Fargo from larger metro areas and other cultures by making them situationally aware of the CIC and the careers it facilitates. 

Richman says NDSCS and the CIC tea will continue to keep the HBA and Home Builders Care Foundation informed as the project moves forward. 


Above: Don and Kathy Dabbert, Dabbert Custom Homes, take part in the groundbreaking.


HBA of F-M and Home Builders Care Foundation supported the project with over $1 million raised through member pledges and $100,000 each from the HBA and Foundation.

The career academy concept has been a proven model to meet workforce needs within other communities; the CIC is projected to serve around 3,800 individuals annually from the Fargo region. When completed, the approximately 92,000 sq. ft. facility will include academic programming and training options related to:

  • Construction
  • Information Technology
  • Health Science (including Nursing and Emergency Medical Technology)
  • Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Business
  • Arts and Communication
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture

If you have questions about CIC development, please contact NDSCS Alumni Foundation Executive Director Kim Nelson at (701) 671-2187.

Click here to view CIC renderings and virtual walk-throughs.

written by Mark Puppe, Communications & Public Affairs Strategist, and Krista Mund, Executive Vice President