When Scott Wilson drove to Williston from Bismarck last week, he expected to have a job and a place to stay. Instead, he would up sleeping in the car in freezing temperatures.
“Ended up sleeping in my vehicle in negative 22 degrees out at Love’s Truck stop. I about gave up. I almost wanted to turn around and go home but I have a kid on the way so I figured I got to tough it out and see what I can find up here,” says Wilson, a former oil field laborer looking for work in the industry.
After posting his story on Facebook, Scott received an outpouring of support.
“I thought those kind of people didn’t exist anymore,” says Wilson.
He found a place to live and now he’s come to Job Service to find what he came to Williston for in the first place-a job.
“Right now, we have six companies we’re working with looking for fracking,” says Cindy Sanford, customer service manager with Job Service ND-Williston.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was at 2.5% in November. For the state’s oil-producing counties, it was slightly higher at 3.2%
“A lot of those numbers are tied to construction also so it’s not just oil. Also we have to look at agriculture. Agriculture is a huge industry out in this area and that also has tanked a little bit. We’re seeing agricultural jobs that are letting go also. So it’s not all oil and gas,” says Sanford.
And there are oil and gas companies hiring.
Oasis Petroleum, which will hold a job fair later month, has 33 positions available locally.
There are positions available for those with or without experience says senior human resources assistant, Jenna Pierce.
“I think it will be pretty consistent throughout 2017. Actually, I’m very confident in that. We’ll be looking for candidates for all ranges of different roles throughout the year,” says Pierce.
As for Wilson, he’s hitting the pavement, resumes in hand, hoping to find a job soon.
“I just want a company to give me a chance and let them prove myself and make them happy with the decision of hiring me,” says Wilson.
And when he finds that job,Wilson says those acts of kindness the community has shown him-he plans to pay forward.
Oasis Petroleum will be holding a job fair at the Grand Williston Hotel in Williston on January 18th.
There will also be a separate multi-industry job fair at the same location in March.
For more information on available positions in the oil and gas industry, visit jobsnd.com