MINOT, N.D. - An apprenticeship program created last year to fill a need for workers in the Bakken was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Minot.

Barry Dutton, state director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship, presented an official "Registered Apprenticeship Program" certificate to Hess Corp. for its Job Experience Training program. JET provides rigorous on-the-job training related to operations in the oil and gas industry, along with classroom training at Bismarck State College.

JET is the first registered apprenticeship program with a set of program standards in North Dakota's oil and gas industry.

"Hess has gone out of the way to develop an outstanding training program, which I think will go a long way in the oil and gas field and in workforce development in general," Dutton said.

Two trainers provide classroom and on-the-job coaching in the two-year JET program, but apprentices also work alongside mentors, who are Hess employees identified as high performers.