Menards Flying in Workers - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Menards Flying in Workers

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According to the Department of Labor, North Dakota ranks number one in the nation with the lowest unemployment rate -- and it isn't even close.

The number sits at three-point-one...the next closest is Nebraska at more than a half point higher -- three-point-eight.

Numbers like that drive home the point that finding workers in the region is tough.

Menards knows that -- and for the last several months the company has been taking big steps to keep its Minot store staffed.

Perry Olson has that.

This isn't your normal private jet pulling into Minot's General Aviation Terminal. This plane is full of reinforcements...for here -- Menards.

(Phil Graef - Minot Menards Manager) "I don't know if we are ever fully staffed..."

Many unfilled jobs paired with booming business isn't a good match, so twice weekly, this plane makes the flight from Wisconsin -- Menards home base -- to Minot...one of the busiest locations.

(Phil Graef - Minot Menards Manager) "We were trying to meet the supply and demand and we threw a lot of ideas out there and this was the best option to take care of the guests and get people on a consistent basis."

About 25 folks per flight from Wisconsin and Minnesota...

(Phil Graef - Minot Menards Manager) "They get on the plane, they come here, spend four or five days. We provide transportation and lodging of course and then they fly back out, spend a few days at home and then fly back out again."

Doug Einch has taken full advantage of this long commute for months now. His store in Minnesota is under construction...so steady work was available here...at a much higher rate of pay...with lots of work to do compared to home...

(Doug Einch - Minneapolis, MN) "The difference is here, when people buy, they buy big...a whole shed or a trailer. It isn't just one thing, it is a whole bunch of add ons and things people need to complete an entire project. Not just a hammer to start it."

As he helps customers, the job of hiring continues...or trying to hire -- and people continue to flock to North Dakota, the spot in the nation for jobs.

(Phil Graef - Minot Menards Manager) "I had a lady yesterday that was out in NY and she lost everything there and she is looking for an opportunity so she applied and we are looking at interviewing her too. It is the land of opportunity right now in ND."

Until these positions can be filled locally though...this 600 mile commute will continue, trying to keep supply up with very strong demand. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.

Of course they are still looking for local folks as well to hire -- and host hiring fairs each Tuesday.

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