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Grand Forks Named Semi Finalists for the Career Z Challenge

News Release                                                             

For Immediate Release

August 21, 2023


Grand Forks Named Semi Finalists for the Career Z Challenge


GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Grand Forks Public Schools has been announced as a semi-finalist in the Department of Education’s Career Z Challenge. 


The application for this grant program was skillfully written by Cara Davis (District Career Educator), Joyce Larson (RRHS Career Coordinator), and Eric Ripley (Executive Director of CTE & Technology). 


The Career Z Challenge is an open innovation prize competition that seeks creative solutions to expand student access to high-quality work-based learning (WBL) opportunities. These opportunities will prepare students to be contributing members of today’s workforce and help them obtain successful careers in the future. 


Their strategic vision aligns well with GFPS’s recent North Dakota CTE grant received at the end of June. This grant funded a Work-Based Learning Coordinator for the next two years leading into the opening of the Career Impact Academy.


Paul Zettler has been selected for the role of Work-Based Learning Coordinator. 

"The district is extremely excited to be named as a national semi-finalist for the Career Z Challenge,” said Eric Ripley, executive director of career and technical education and technology. “The combination of this program, along with the hiring of a work-based learning coordinator for the district are significant steps in the development of the Career Impact Academy and expansion of work-based learning opportunities for our students."