During the oil downturn, a number of individuals have been laid off and lost their jobs. But some are using the opportunity to go back to school and add new skills sets to their tool box.
“Petroleum is advancing with technology. The rigs, they walk. They move by themselves,” says Anna Hayes, a student at Williston State College.
And sometimes, you have to advance yourself right along with them. After being laid off from her job in the oil industry, Anna Hayes decided to go back to school.
This year, Hayes was one of five Williston State College students to receive the Bakken U scholarship, which helps current or displaced oil industry workers with their continuing education.
“I believe things are opening up again so I think that with a little more confidence in myself, I’ll be fine,” says Hayes.
Hayes’ professor at Williston State College has plenty of confidence in that.
“She really wants to learn and by learning, when she goes out to the real world, she’ll do fantastic. Because that’s what it’s all about. Learning the job and performing the job,” says WSC petroleum production technology instructor Alberto Bellina.
And Hayes is not afraid to get her hands a little dirty.
“I like manual labor. I don’t know why. But I do,” Hayes says with a smile.
Hayes hopes her studies will help her find an IT-related position in the oil industry.
“I have not done IT before. So this is a new door from me,” says Hayes.
But sometimes when one door closes, another opens.
Williston State College awarded $1000 to each of its five Bakken U scholarship recipients. The North Dakota University System awarded two $5000 Bakken U scholarships this year to students at Bismarck State College and Minot St