MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — The North Dakota Association of County Engineers hosted its 73rd annual county roads conference to discuss the importance of maintaining and creating roads in our state.

The County Roads conference is a statewide conference for county road superintendents and county highway engineers. This two-and-a-half-day training is specific to transportation matters.

“At this conference, will be rig moves and particularly in the oil patch areas, and what that does to our local roads. We are also going to be doing a session on GIS and mapping and signing and how that affects inventories for signs,” said North Dakota Association of County Engineers Executive Director, Genny Dienstmann.

From 2016 to 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a total of over 139,000 new engineering jobs nationwide. As such, engineering in the state is seeing a high demand for more professionals in the field.

Over the past couple of years, this field has seen a huge turnover rate, due to the retirement of those born in the baby boomer era.

“Yeah, it is a concern, it’s a concern to make sure that we are able to fill those positions with new students coming out of college and hoping that we have enough of a workforce to be able to handle the demands and needs for our transportation system,” added Dienstmann.

Coming up with solutions for our transportation needs is incredibly important to not only the safety of our area but also our success.

“Everything we do is to keep roads safe, that’s one thing people ask, well what do you guys do? I’m the road superintendent for Stark county in Dickinson, everything we do is to keep roads safe for the traveling public,” said North Dakota Association of County Engineers President, Al Heiser.

The conference is being hosted at the Grand Hotel in Minot and will conclude this Friday, February 3.