November 3, 2022

USU Blanding Converting Former Shopko Building Into CTE Space


Utah State University Blanding has purchased a building that will be converted into a space for Technical Education courses under USU’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The building was formerly a Shopko located on Main Street in Blanding.

“USU Blanding is committed to San Juan County and the Four Corners region,” said Kristian Olsen, Associate Vice President for USU Blanding. “We know our trades programs lead directly to in-demand careers. Students who graduate in trucking, welding, building and construction and our other certificate programs are highly sought after by employers. The new facility will allow us to expand our programs and provide a high-quality learning environment for our students.”

The space will be built out in phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed near the end of November. Phase 1 of the building, which will be approximately 50% of the space, will house a multipurpose room for USU Extension, a classroom for the Trucking/CDL program, a pull-through truck and equipment repair bay for both the trucking and heavy equipment program, a semi truck simulation room and space for a newly approved welding program.

“This new facility will be a tremendous benefit to our students and the community and will help us improve on what we already do,” Olsen said. “We know this facility will allow more students the opportunity to get an education that leads directly to a career. We appreciate all the great people who have helped make this possible.”

The newly acquired space will provide more space for programs to operate and allow for expanded training, especially for the truck driver program, addressing safety as well as allowing for adequate space to park trucks and store equipment. With the move, the program also will now have a state-approved CDL testing site. USU Blanding’s CTE program director is excited to see progress and feels the building will be a big asset to the campus.

“We are a university that is focused on student outcome, and improving student outcomes is our business,” said Justin Bergeman, director of CTE at USU Blanding. “This building will improve student outcome, whether that is effectiveness, efficiency or both. This building and these programs are a huge boost to Technical Education programs in the Four Corners Area and the investment is evident that USU cares greatly about supporting Tech programs.”

The building will also house USU Blanding’s first welding program. The space will have 10 welding booths where students can initially work on a one-year certificate of completion in welding. Discussions are taking place as to whether the campus will eventually offer an associate degree in welding in Blanding. These discussions are in the preliminary stages.

“I believe adding a high-quality welding program to the educational offerings at Blanding campus is a huge benefit and will allow USU Blanding to serve more students and support welding related workforce needs in our region,” Bergeman said.

Offering residential campus housing and dining, Utah State University Blanding gives students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university, all while providing award-winning education. With degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, plus technical education offerings in Business, Technical Trades and Health Professions, USU Blanding offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at

Utah State University Blanding is preparing the former Shopko at 860 S. Main Street to be a space for Career & Technical Education courses.

Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications 

Justin Bergeman
Career and Technical Education
USU Blanding
(435) 678-8217 

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