WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 04, 2010, 01:37 PM

Workers needed to fill thousands of jobs in western North Dakota

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A cry for help from Western North Dakota. Economic development leaders from Williston are in Fargo, hoping they can get workers from the entire state to fill thousands of jobs.

Williston's Economic Development Executive Director Tom Rolfstad says the surge out west is not an oil boom, but an oil industry, saying it isn't going away anytime soon. He expects Williston and other western towns in the Bakken Shale to double in the next 5 years. It'll leave them in need of everything from oil workers, to doctors, bakers, and waitresses.

It's a problem much of the country would like to have. Tom Rolfstad is pleading for workers.

TOM ROLFSTAD: "We need a lot of help! How are we going to grow this fast?"

He says he needs thousand of people. It's part of the "Invest in the West to Fund the Rest" campaign. Rolfstad and other economic development leaders are trying to get more North Dakota workers out west to fill about 3-thousand jobs.

ROLFSTAD: "We need more retail, we need more wholesale, we need more trucking, we need more trucks, we need a lot of things that you guys sell in Fargo...we need."

Rolfstad says they are short on almost everything, but the biggest thing is housing.

ROLFSTAD: "We're building cities! And it's not just Williston, but a half a dozen cities around us."

He says this is North Dakota's booming industry, not just a western North Dakota boom and he's challenging local businesses.

ROLFSTAD: "Think about us. You know, if you're looking for expansion, we can use your help."

Tomorrow, they'll be giving another presentation at the Radisson in Fargo, and then meeting with the Kiwanis club. Rolfstad says if you want to work out west, go to or