KALISPELL, Mont. -

Flathead Valley Community College is asking Kalispell city officials to help them apply for as much as $350,000 in state funds to buy heavy equipment. The machinery would go to the school’s heavy equipment operator licensing program.

The college could use the funds to buy a bulldozer, two excavators and other equipment.

City staff say that labor statistics show a growing need for workers in related fields, and that includes positions in the oil fields of Eastern Montana and North Dakota. Students in the program experience roughly an 80 percent placement rate in the job market.

The process for obtaining a Community Development Block Grant requires that the city helps facilitate the application process on behalf of the school.