Williston’s mass lay-offs prompt proactivity in other oil, gas companies

WILLISTON, N.D. - There’s a lot on the line for job seekers and employers in the Williams County area after two mass lay-offs prompted other companies to be more proactive in getting those people to work for them.

Mass lay-offs from Oasis Petroleum and Whiting Petroleum, along with dozens of job cuts from other companies, have left a couple hundred people in the Bakken jobless within the past month.

The latest job service report shows there was a 57 percent increase in production job openings for the area in August. Williston's Workforce Center Manager Paula Hickel, says the jump in numbers isn’t necessarily due to an actual increase in job openings, but an increase in other companies listing their job openings.

Hickel said, “Those other companies said ‘Woah, we better get our jobs listed.’ So, these highly-skilled folks who have been laid off, highly sought-after people will be able to find their positions more readily. So, they just kind of stepped up to that job-listing plate.”

Hickel said many of the laid-off employees are waiting to look at options during the Northwest North Dakota Semi-Annual Job Fair this Wednesday, where 70 employers will be present.

“It’s a very interesting climate for both job-seekers and employers as we go into this year’s job fair. Kind of like any other, unlike any other in recent years, where there’s this much on the line,” added Hickel.

The job fair will be at the Raymond Family Community Center in Williston. Veterans will be invited in at 2 p.m., and the general public can enter at 2:30 p.m., and it ends at 6 p.m. For more information, you can go to the Job Service ND Williston's Facebook page.