Tools of the trade: Navajo Technical University strengthens skilled trade programs

Community News

Crownpoint, New Mexico, Foundation, sustainability

  • A $100,000 grant is helping the largest tribal university in the United States prepare more students across the Navajo Nation for careers in the skilled trades.
  • The funds from Marathon Petroleum will help Navajo Technical University purchase specialized tools and equipment to help students attain trade certifications.
  • Among many other items, the grant will supply electronic torque wrenches, a heavy equipment jump starter, a machine torch and a motorized pipe-cutting assembly.

The first university established on the Navajo Nation is expanding its capacity to help students enter the workforce in the skilled trades. Navajo Technical University (NTU) in Crownpoint, New Mexico, will use a $100,000 grant from Marathon Petroleum to strengthen hands-on learning in its training programs for automotive technology, construction technology, electrical trades, heavy equipment operation and welding.

The university will purchase tools and equipment needed at campus locations in New Mexico and Arizona. Students at these campuses are working to attain professional credentials, including certifications from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and the American Welding Society. Other implements will assist NTU’s automotive technology department with achieving accreditation from the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation for the 2022-2023 academic year.

“As an employer in this region through our terminals, pipelines and gathering systems, we recognize NTU’s vital role in preparing young people for future careers,” said Marathon Manager for ESG and Stakeholder Engagement V.J. Smith. “Leaders from the university and the Navajo Nation helped us understand where our resources could have the most impact.”

Among many other tools and types of equipment, Marathon’s grant will provide electronic torque wrenches; a dual-slide compound miter saw for applications in cabinet making and residential construction; a heavy equipment jump starter; two-ton floor jacks; a machine torch; and a motorized pipe-cutting assembly.

NTU is the largest tribal university in the United States. It offers master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees as well as certificates across academic fields that range from engineering to the culinary arts.