PORTLAND, Ore. — Feb. 15, 2023 — Knife River Corporation announced today that it has partnered with the Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC-Oregon) to provide $250,000 in training scholarships for historically underrepresented groups.
The scholarships can be used for individuals to take classes at the Knife River Training Center in Albany, Oregon. Classes include equipment training, commercial driver’s license training, leadership development and other courses designed to help people build a career in the construction industry.
“Knife River is a people-first construction company, and we are thrilled to partner with our friends at NAMC to provide these opportunities for people who might not otherwise have them,” said Knife River President Brian Gray. “The construction industry is better off when we have more voices and viewpoints working together. NAMC is an exceptional advocate for minorities and for construction, and we welcome the diversity their outreach will bring.”
The $250,000 in scholarships directed to NAMC-Oregon is part of a $500,000 outreach grant awarded to the Knife River Training Center by Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency. NAMC will help identify prospective scholarship recipients through its member companies, affiliates and outreach efforts to Oregon youth.
“NAMC-Oregon’s motto of Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers continues to be realized with this special partnership being galvanized with Knife River,” said Nate McCoy, president and CEO of NAMC-Oregon. “We fundamentally believe that businesses owned by people of color in the construction industry will never reach parity of opportunity and equity of outcome through a check-the-box-approach. With extensive support throughout the industry, we are taking on these barriers and breaking them down consistently and, as a result, maximizing the ability of NAMC’s members to increase workforce development and win contracts.”
Sophorn Cheang, director of Business Oregon, said the scholarships will provide reach into communities that may not otherwise have these types of opportunities.
“Business Oregon is thrilled to work with Knife River to leverage the company’s incredible new training center and provide educational opportunities for Oregon’s diverse future workforce,” Cheang said. “Funding scholarships for the center will reduce the barriers of entry into construction trades for youth and underserved communities in Oregon, creating new opportunities for prosperous career paths and supporting the industry in Oregon.”
The Knife River Training Center opened in 2022. It is designed to build skills and help individuals advance their careers by providing a classroom education accompanied by hands-on experience in a safe, controlled environment. For more information on the Knife River Training Center, visit www.KRTrainingCenter.com.
Media contact: Tony Spilde
Senior Director of Communications