Diesel Refinery Operators Train Through Accelerated Program - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Diesel Refinery Operators Train Through Accelerated Program

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Several people have already been hired to operate the new diesel refinery near Dickinson.

Some with experience, some with none.

The more inexperienced hires are going through an accelerated training program right now at Bismarck State College.

David Maxwell is one of eight men being trained to run the new diesel refinery.

A job that they have already been hired for.

"They're going to be working at a plant that's currently being built." says Paul Zimmerman, Refinery Operations Trainer.

Most of the them will be working their first job as operators, but they are required to go through four months of accelerated training first.

"We bring folks in here for training, bring 'em up to speed as soon as possible and then send them back to the plants and allow them to go back to work more confident and able to do their jobs better." says Zimmerman.

Trainees work with valves and pumps here that are very similar to what they'll see at the refinery.

"Everything's on a smaller scale, little safer here..." says Bill Michelsen, operator trainee.

Trainer Paul Zimmerman says it is becoming more and more common to not only teach college students, but also employees in the energy industry.

"This doesn't substitute a degree but what it does is get these guys, very confident in a quick pace, to where they can get out there and do a stellar job of operating a plant." says Zimmerman.

They work together now learning the pressure systems, how to monitor levels and how to troubleshoot.

"You've got to know what you're doing because you're working with some dangerous stuff." says Michelsen.

The operators come from all backgrounds, from North Dakota, to Alabama, and as far away as Zimbabwe.

"It's cool to have everyone's different perspective..." says Maxwell.

Some have experience working in plants, and some do not, but they are all being geared toward safety as the number one priority.

The eight men will finish their training April 11th.

A beginning salary for an entry-level operator at Dakota Prairie Refinery is around 22 dollars an hour.

Dakota Prairie is hiring around 40 operators total.

The new diesel refinery near Dickinson is still expected to begin operations in December.


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