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Oil Patch job fair still bustling

WILLISTON -- This week's two-day job fair in the heart of the Oil Patch has been completely filled by companies vying for workers, a prospect that is expected to draw similar numbers of job seekers as seen in previous years.

WILLISTON - This week’s two-day job fair in the heart of the Oil Patch has been completely filled by companies vying for workers, a prospect that is expected to draw similar numbers of job seekers as seen in previous years.

North Dakota Job Services Manager Cindy Sanford said 779 job openings were posted in Williams County last month. Of that number, 300 jobs are slated to be advertised this Wednesday and Thursday at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center.

The lucrative job market still entices phone calls from all over the country from individuals who fly in or take the train just for the event.

While the layoffs in the oil industry have led some to believe that Williston is a drying job market, Sanford spoke to the contrary and pointed out how the scene has instead shifted to job markets spurred as a result of the oilfield.

“We used to have one day just for oil field jobs and the next day for other jobs,” Sanford said. “Now we can combine them.”

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While wages aren’t inflated to what was seen in 2012, there are still job availabilities, though many employers are now looking for individuals with higher skill sets to fill those positions.

“Many companies haven’t posted wages yet,’ Sanford said. “Pipeline jobs are normally in the higher ($20/hour), depending on the job.”

Sanford said an array of construction, pipeline, retail, truck driving, oilfield, healthcare, and city jobs will be on display this week.

Much of the format will remain the same, such as the ‘Veterans’ Preference.’

From 2-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 9-9:30 a.m., veterans are given the first half hour to examine the job options before the doors open for the rest of the public.

Sanford said there will be aspects that haven’t been seen before. Wednesday night the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce and the Williston Economic Development will give insight into what’s happening in the city. The public will also be privy to a housing roundtable from 7:45-8:30 a.m. Thursday where the state of the housing market will be assessed.

“The thing is, we still have plenty of jobs,” Sanford said.

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