Governor Jack Dalrymple and the Hess Corporation announced today that the global energy company is donating more than $25 million to fund "Succeed 2020," a statewide education project aimed at helping North Dakota students become better prepared for college and careers.
"Hess Corporation's donation gives us a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of education for North Dakota students and to ensure they are ready for both college and the workplace," Dalrymple said. "The past three legislative sessions have focused heavily on creating equitable funding for schools, and this public-private partnership will allow our local partners to enhance and design programs that better prepare our students."
Dalrymple and Hess Corporation have worked on the project's development for more than a year. The project is designed for middle and high school students, beginning with next year's fifth graders, or the graduating class of 2020, putting them on a path to being better prepared for their college and career goals. During this school year, planning grants will be distributed to bring together education, business, community leaders and parents. Regional Education Associations (REAs) will have the lead responsibility for bringing partners together to design collaborative solutions.
Specific goals of the Succeed 2020 project aim to increase ACT scores, decrease developmental or remedial education, and increase the number of students who complete high school and college programs on-time. The REAs will work with their local school districts and partners to design and implement programs that improve college and career counseling beginning in the middle school grades, increase access to and success in career and technical education programs and advanced placement courses for rural students, and provide professional development for teachers and counselors.
"This investment in building North Dakota's workforce of the future is part of our commitment to make a positive impact on the communities where we do business," said John Hess, Chairman and CEO of Hess Corporation. "We hope this program will ensure that each student in North Dakota has the opportunity to build a rewarding career, which will help further strengthen the state economy for many years to come."
Hess engaged FHI 360 (formerly AED), a non-profit education, workforce development, and human development organization, to work with the state and Hess to facilitate planning and assist with implementation of the project. The project will be guided by a North Dakota steering committee led by John Hess and Governor Dalrymple as honorary co-chairs. For more information about the Succeed 2020 Project contact Kayla Effertz, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Governor at 701-328-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Good businesses become a part of the communities they live and work in, and there's no better way to become part of the community than by supporting education," said Sen. John Hoeven. "As Hess Corporation increased its presence in North Dakota, John Hess and I discussed ways the Hess Corporation could make a lasting impact in North Dakota beyond energy development, and one of those ways was support for education. With this gift, the Hess Corporation and FHI 360 are not only helping to create jobs in North Dakota, but also helping to prepare young people for careers in a dynamic and growing industry."