Demand for workers in Williston on the rise

WILLISTON, N.D. - The demand for workers in Williston is going to keep climbing as the weather gets warmer, according to District One's Workforce Center Manager, Paula Hickel. The evidence can be seen by people who are currently searching.

Marvin Jenson is from Maine, where he says the few jobs that are available are low paying, so two months ago he moved to Williston for work.

Jenson's job fell through two weeks ago, but he's already had three interviews since then, and many potential leads. Jenson has a CDL driver's license, and is experienced in warehouse and forklift work, so he says getting employers' attention hasn't been too difficult.

"This area right here is a great place as far as work. It seems like there's all kinds of work. My mailbox and email can attest to that, because I must have one hundred recruiters contacting me about jobs here in Williston, so there's a lot of work; you just got to get the right fit," said Jenson.

Job seekers say they are really hopeful because February numbers show there are 1,020 job openings in Northwest North Dakota. One hundred and fifty-one of those are just in production, which is 122 percent higher than February of last year.

"We have a really cold February where there's not a lot of planning to kick off anything new going on. As we move into March, April, May, that percentage is just going to skyrocket, we are going to see a lot of production workers needed," said Hickel.

In February, transportation, installation, maintenance and repair, healthcare practitioners and technical got the first three places in number of job openings. More than 65 percent of those openings pay $25 or more per hour. That is 30 percent higher than the statewide average.