History

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Fifty Years of Service to Students and Employers

Northwest Technical College history dates back to the early 1960s, when Bemidji High School teacher Jake Outwin recognized that the region needed a workforce with the practical skills and knowledge necessary for professional opportunities. With the support of the community and the state of Minnesota, he led an effort to establish the Bemidji Area Vocational Technical Institute, a two-year college that began with two programs, Carpentry and Automotive Mechanics.

That was 1965. Over the the past 50 years, the college evolved through several new names and gained new programs in medical, business, child development and other technological fields that met the increasing needs of its learners, the state and the nation. To lead those programs, creative and resourceful professionals brought incredible talent to the college and tirelessly worked to fulfill a fledgling mission.

The profile of NTC learners changed with time. To predominately young, local male high school graduates were added more young women, as well as students of many ages and ethnicities. Changes in the college physical plant and new technology advanced learning and teaching success. NTC continues to demonstrate its commitment to developing imaginative leaders who effectively address the challenges of life in a technological society, a pluralistic nation and a multicultural world.