Technology is driving the oil industry in a new direction.
The TrainND program in Williston is expanding to keep up with the changes in workforce training.
In this week's Eye on Energy, Jennifer Kleen tells us how meeting the needs for new skill sets will keep the industry moving full-speed ahead.
Change is on the horizon for the Bakken oilfield.
(Deanette Piesik, CEO Train ND) "The big thing was drilling all the wells. Now we have to maintain the wells that have been drilled."
That requires maintaining workforce numbers.
More than 10,000 people participated in TrainND courses last year; more than 13,000 in 2012.
(Deanette Piesik, CEO Train ND) "2012, I tell people, it was a tsunami year if you ask me. 2013 was a more normal year so I do think that 10,000 is a good baseline number."
TrainND is quickly out growing the facility on campus at Williston State College; which is why a seven-and-a-half million dollar plan for a new facility is moving forward.
(Deanette Piesik, CEO Train ND) "We have a beautiful training field with all this equipment, almost two million dollars that has been donated by companies and we really think that since so many are coming to North Dakota that have never seen the oil field or experienced the oil field, we need to do some classroom instruction with hands on reinforcement, that would be very vital to the industry."
More than 500 companies send employees through various TrainND programs.
Those same companies have a say in the continuing education required in a maturing oil field.
(Deanette Piesik, CEO Train ND) "That's the reason why we're so successful is because businesses feel that they own us, they can audit any of the programs, they can suggest ways to change the program, we customize it for their needs."
The new two-story facility will be located close campus and adjacent to the training equipment site.
Still $1.5 million short, companies are taking charge of the fundraising and Piesik expects to break ground this summer.
(Deanette Piesik, CEO Train ND) "Because there is such a change in the oil and gas industry and technology is changing the skill sets that people need. We need to be able to have the space to provide that training."
While change is a key player, the Bakken continues to drive expansion.
In Williston, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.
TrainND programs were set in motion by the state legislature in 1999 at all four North Dakota community colleges.