Bakken boom builds businesses in Grand Forks region
A recent survey shows the western North Dakota oil boom has had a positive effect on businesses in the Grand Forks region. The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks surveyed its members as part of the Bakken Initiative, a regionwide collabo...
A recent survey shows the western North Dakota oil boom has had a positive effect on businesses in the Grand Forks region.
The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks surveyed its members as part of the Bakken Initiative, a regionwide collaborative marketing effort. Area respondents were asked about the Bakken play's effect on revenue and employment growth.
Two-thirds of the 138 companies surveyed have seen revenue growth thanks to Bakken-related activity, while 32 businesses reported adding employees in the past two years due to the oil boom.
"Our region's effort to recruit new businesses expanding because of the Bakken is also attracting new customers for our existing businesses," said Klaus Thiessen, president and CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., in a press release. "At the end of the day, we can undeniably say the oil and gas industry is helping this region grow and create new jobs."
One business is Grand Forks-based Rhino Contracting. Owner Steve Abbey said the company has added a workshop in Bismarck and has a work crew in Dickinson, N.D., to help compensate for increased demand from the western half of the state.
He estimates the Bismarck location has added 15 jobs to the company, while the Dickinson crew has about a half-dozen employees.
With some members of his Grand Forks staff are moving west to manage Rhino's new locations, one of the hurdles Abbey has faced is finding experienced people to fill positions vacated in Grand Forks.
"The oil fields attract a lot of people, so we have less and less qualified people to choose from here," he said.
But the expansion has been good for business and Rhino's bottom line, he said.
"It's a good problem to have."
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