U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Dakota > Williston
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 05-26-2012, 12:01 AM
 
25 posts, read 183,242 times
Reputation: 24

Advertisements

After much planning and obstacles, my husband and I made it to Williston and stayed for 10 days. I wanted to share our experience and perspectives.

First of all, our situation is we are from Oregon. My husband has a job with our local government and is at the top of his pay and career ladder, making less even with benefits than what most of the CDL driving jobs start out at. After three years of exhaustive and frustrating efforts, I have been totally unsuccessful in manifesting work in our area. Therefore, we both wanted to check out Williston's opportunities. We had been applying online for all the big boys: Halliburton, Baker-Hughes, MBI, etc...and getting no response or the "others were more qualified" messages. We knew the housing was going to be a problem, so we bought a 1983 RV that ended up having an exhaust manifold leak and started chugging and cutting out; to make a long story short, we ended up coming to town in our minivan instead.

So, we arrived in Williston after five days travel. We were impressed with how nice everyone was that we met and talked to. We were disappointed in the jobs however for my husband. He was looking for CDL driving jobs in Williston that had benefits and two months prior had been paying $25-29 hr. Most of the jobs were from owner-operators offering $20-26 hr, no benefits, no 401k, or most % of loads and were located anywhere from Watford City to Beulah, Belford, Stanley and Dickenson. For me, however, I found several waitress jobs the first day I looked.

Don Pedros was our favorite restaurant -- good food and service. The China Star was just okay, Rice Spice was decent, Taco Johns sucked and we got so sick of mcDonalds it wasn't funny. Gramma Sharons was decent. We kept hearing how Wal-Mart was so high, but we actually found the prices quite comparable to ours in Oregon. Same with most all the prices. Showers were a problem. The darned Conoco next to Wal-Mart charged $10 if you weren't a trucker and the morning manager was around. We always took a shower daily, but didn't like paying $10 a day.

Sleeping in our van was not the greatest. Two grown people with luggage and boxed items don't make for a comfortable trip. That was probably the worst.

Jobs Services was helpful, but the temp services were not. They were pretty much worthless to us.

People would talk about no houses being for sale, but what I actually found was there are a few houses in the new subdivision not yet sold, but in talking to people, they are skiddish of $300k mortgages despite their $100k incomes. I am seasoned in real estate investing and had I not come to Williston and heard this for myself, I would have considered buying a house and sitting on it until we sold it. I am reluctant to do so with a prevalent attitude in the town being that of concern for where and how long people will work in the oil industry there. You see, jobs are moving out of Williston to areas 40 miles to 120 miles away. And yet, for Williston to truly grow into becoming a community, people must buy homes and settle into the community as viable citizens.

I frankly loved Williston as a place where I felt maybe I could make a difference in being a part of developing infrastructure for this community. I would love to be on the planning board and start other committees intent on developing family activities and community events. Right now, getting people who are gleaning income from the oil industry to give back and actually vesting their interest in being a part of the community is huge. Still, I understand why they might not feel motivated to do so (their jobs moving them out of the area).

There are business opportunities I can see. The town needs a real good breakfast and lunch place, and not just the greasy spoon variety. And the small towns are direly lacking for delicious or even pallatable fare too. We went to New Town to the Four Bear casinos and could not believe that this place that has a large hotel does not offer any breakfast! Hot dogs from the snack bar or beef jerky and donuts don't cut it for me. And this town is full of men driving around with each other. The town needs a reason to bring more jobs for women into the area.

I had been warned by some that men lurk around the parking lots stare in lecherous ways at women and girls. I did not encounter this at all. I did see some huge big mouth guy who let his pants fall down around his knees though and he laughed his head off about it, as if doing it on purpose for attention. You couldn't see his private parts, as he had a long shirt on. Other than that (and I am an attractive woman I've been told), I did not encounter anything unsavory or scarey with regard to men in Williston. Even in DK's Lounge, I didn't see guys trying to jump over the bar to get to the bar maid who had most of her bust hanging out. For the most part, men were gentlemen. I had them open doors, talk and act respectfully to me. Most guys just hung out with other guys and talked about their wives, girlfriends or about work and their goals. I know the young ones would go to the strip clubs and waste their hard earned money getting boozed up with their friends, but that's pretty common anywhere in the nation with young single folks.

We ended up heading back to Oregon because my husband didn't get an offer that would rival what he has here for a job, but we both want to return to Williston. I would like to teach part-time at the college, possibly waitress part-time also and try to get a business or two started, serve on community committees and help contribute to the growth of the community. I'm the type who loves to be busy -- a true workaholic that loves it!

I feel really positive about my experience in Williston and hope that we can come back really soon. My husband has been interviewing even since he's been back in Oregon. He has an interview with MBI on Tuesday and I hope they make him a good offer -- either as a driver or maybe owner-operator (he has 31 years of spotless CDL driving and has endorsements, is going for NCCO crane certification early June here).

So, keep your fingers crossed for us so we can return! :-)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-26-2012, 12:06 AM
 
25 posts, read 183,242 times
Reputation: 24
One thing I did want to add that was a little concerning to me was that I did overhear various CDL drivers at different times in different places state they were having a hard time getting paid by the company they worked for. I am assuming from what I overheard that these were owner operators who had not been in business long or had the reserves for their payroll. Also, on this same train of thought, several small owner-operators that interviewed my husband made the comment that they don't set up benefits because most of their drivers don't work for them beyond three months. We got to wondering if that was because they might be stiffing their drivers, because they had no reserves and weren't getting paid timely themselves from those they were contracting with.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-26-2012, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Everywhere.
378 posts, read 605,408 times
Reputation: 354
One of the biggest reason CDL drivers move on to other companies is that they get better offers from the next company they apply to, after gaining some field experience. Others may just not be cut out to handle the oil service work, and move on to something else. Even the large service companies have their issues.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2012, 02:23 AM
 
979 posts, read 3,252,621 times
Reputation: 596
gogonorth... I liked your post, but have to disagree with one thing you said..."You see, jobs are moving out of Williston to areas 40 miles to 120 miles away"... this is simply NOT true. Jobs are expanding out into other areas of the Bakken, but Williston has gone from 10,000 laborforce/employed, a few years ago, to over 30,000 laborforce/employed. Just since last month from March to April, Williston's labor force grew another 1,300 people and the unemployment rate is at less than 1% at 0.7%. Minot had a labor force of 34,000 a few years ago, and are still at 34,000 (despite the reports that Minot is exploding with jobs)...Dickinson has increased a couple thousand...but it's labor force is growing a faster than Minots. Check out the link at JobService North Dakota to see the latest. But jobs are not MOVING out of Williston...they are just expanding in other areas of the Bakken. It is estimated another 30,000 jobs will need to be filled over the next couple years to keep up with the development of this Bakken. It is as the Mayor of Williston once said...it is no longer a boom, it is an industry...and will be around for a long time. Williston's workforce and employed has exploded and continues to grow by hundreds a month and thousands a year. It has not decreased, it has been steadily increasing since 2008.

http://www.ndworkforceintelligence.c....asp?docid=543
http://www.ndworkforceintelligence.c...&blnStart=True
http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/dat.../lauMC38487806
http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/dat.../lauMC38335006
http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/dat.../laumc38198606
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
70 posts, read 116,743 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by gogonorth View Post
One thing I did want to add that was a little concerning to me was that I did overhear various CDL drivers at different times in different places state they were having a hard time getting paid by the company they worked for. I am assuming from what I overheard that these were owner operators who had not been in business long or had the reserves for their payroll. Also, on this same train of thought, several small owner-operators that interviewed my husband made the comment that they don't set up benefits because most of their drivers don't work for them beyond three months. We got to wondering if that was because they might be stiffing their drivers, because they had no reserves and weren't getting paid timely themselves from those they were contracting with.
This must be from smaller companies that cannot handle the cash flow. I have worked for MBI energy Services for 3 months and have never even heard of an issue with payroll not being available on time. Every other Friday, direct deposited into my account. (Former Oregonian)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 4,847,267 times
Reputation: 2370
Quote:
This must be from smaller companies that cannot handle the cash flow.
From what I've been able to tell, it's really the very small owner-operators that sublease onto larger companies who see this issue.
If you're driving directly for a company that has its own contracts (whether it's a giant like PowerFuels, or smaller outfit like Brady), you won't see this.

But the little 2-4 truck "companies" just don't have the budget to float a payroll before their own payments come in. Consequently, they're a few weeks out from a paycheck, so their drivers are too...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 06:31 PM
 
46 posts, read 92,597 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanL76 View Post
I'm from over in the Twin Cities but I heard about a revolutionary employee housing solution emerging in North Dakota called Prairie Housing Services which offers these companies comprehensive and customized housing facilities for their workers. It sounds like just what is needed up there
You don't say!!!

Where, pray tell, might I find a brochure? I'm sure you're not affiliated with that company in any manner, but maybe you know?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis,MN
159 posts, read 305,700 times
Reputation: 52
Just google it
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-10-2012, 10:51 PM
 
25 posts, read 183,242 times
Reputation: 24
Gotcha, so I'll restate what I said: they are not hiring in Williston as they were, but rather hiring for towns approx. 80-120 miles from Williston. If you notice, the listings for oil jobs in Williston versus Watford City, Killdeer, Dickinson, Belfield, etc... have decreased. My husband got some offers but all outside of Williston and with no overtime -- just straight pay for hourly or percentage of loads only. No benefits. No 401k. That was CDL driving position, btw.

quote=Roloff1976;24492233]gogonorth... I liked your post, but have to disagree with one thing you said..."You see, jobs are moving out of Williston to areas 40 miles to 120 miles away"... this is simply NOT true. Jobs are expanding out into other areas of the Bakken, but Williston has gone from 10,000 laborforce/employed, a few years ago, to over 30,000 laborforce/employed. Just since last month from March to April, Williston's labor force grew another 1,300 people and the unemployment rate is at less than 1% at 0.7%. Minot had a labor force of 34,000 a few years ago, and are still at 34,000 (despite the reports that Minot is exploding with jobs)...Dickinson has increased a couple thousand...but it's labor force is growing a faster than Minots. Check out the link at JobService North Dakota to see the latest. But jobs are not MOVING out of Williston...they are just expanding in other areas of the Bakken. It is estimated another 30,000 jobs will need to be filled over the next couple years to keep up with the development of this Bakken. It is as the Mayor of Williston once said...it is no longer a boom, it is an industry...and will be around for a long time. Williston's workforce and employed has exploded and continues to grow by hundreds a month and thousands a year. It has not decreased, it has been steadily increasing since 2008.

NDWIN - Labor Force Estimates
http://www.ndworkforceintelligence.c...&blnStart=True
Labor Force: Williston, ND Micropolitan Statistical Area, North Dakota; NSA
Labor Force: Minot, ND Micropolitan Statistical Area, North Dakota; NSA
Labor Force: Dickinson, ND Micropolitan Statistical Area, North Dakota; NSA[/quote]
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Dakota > Williston

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top