North Dakota has a growing economy and a low unemployment rate, and employers are struggling to hire and retain qualified workers with technical skills that require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree.

The struggle got the attention of state lawmakers, who passed a bill, House Bill 1171, this past legislative session that created a skilled workforce scholarship and student loan repayment program aimed at attracting people to these high-demand fields.

The Legislature appropriated $6 million, half for the scholarship and half for the student loan repayment program, which requires matching funds from local employers and others.

Read more here.