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When you enter the giant dome at the new Knife River Training Center, there is an audible “whoosh!” from the revolving door. Part of that is the air from the inflated dome. And the company also believes the whoosh is the sound of construction careers taking flight.

Knife River celebrated the grand opening of its training center April 28 in Albany, welcoming more than 200 guests to its 230-acre campus.

The center is an investment in two of the world’s most precious resources: people and the future. It is a state-of-the-art facility where individuals can develop the skills necessary to build the next generation of America’s roads, bridges, buildings and more.

The center develops people’s skills through both education and experiences. It takes training beyond the classroom, providing hands-on learning in real-world environments. The training center features:

    • An 80,000-square-foot heated dome with a dirt arena for equipment training. It is the largest such dome in the United States and includes a concrete viewing platform with cutting-edge audio visual equipment.
    • A 16,000-square-foot training building with four classrooms ranging in occupancy from 15 to 350, depending on configuration. The rooms are equipped with the latest technology. The building also features a 2,400-square-foot enclosed patio and an on-site kitchen for catering.
    • Outdoor training facilities that include haul roads, maritime training and, coming this fall, “sim town.” Sim town’s mock urban environment will enable training around simulated overhead/underground hazards and in confined spaces.

Knife River is currently delivering commercial driving license and entry-level driver training, heavy equipment training, leadership development and safety training at the center.

The company believes this investment will help develop its existing workforce, as well as attract more people to the construction industry. The facility is also open to industry peers and strategic partners, including government, disadvantaged business entities, and minority-owned and women-owned enterprises. Outside groups can take advantage of Knife River’s training programs, or can utilize the facility in support of their specific needs.

“We built the Training Center with two main goals in mind: To showcase construction as a career of choice and to elevate individuals’ skillsets,” said Brian Gray, president of Knife River Northwest. “The more talented people we have in the construction industry, the better it is for all of us.

“So we are building our own bench and we’re focused on growing our relationships to assist strategic partners – including minority-owned businesses – in addressing their workforce goals. To that end, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to Kris Latimer, Center Director, to discuss your needs, concepts and opportunities,” he added.
For additional information, please visit To schedule a visit or tour, or to inquire about facility usage, contact Latimer at 541-403-7704 or email

Article courtesy of the Association of Oregon Counties.