Glendive Considering Foreign Workers

The “Montana Headlines” blog had an interesting read on the blessing and the burden posed by development of the Bakken oil field.  The blog also linked to a news story in The Glendive Ranger-Review that shows how businesses in Glendive need workers so badly, they may start hiring foreign workers.  

Here’s an excerpt from the Ranger-Review article:

“This is the most listings I’ve ever seen,” Work Force Development Specialist Shannon Kadrmas of Job Service in Glendive said this week.

There are more than 200 active listings covering a wide range of local job openings, he said. 

According to Kadrmas the labor pool is so strained right now that some employers are starting to consider foreign workers.
“Wal-Mart in Williston is utilizing H-2B visas,” he said. “It is something we’ve started talking about.”

The “Montana Headlines” blog linked to the piece and noted how North Dakota is taking an active role in encouraging housing development.

At the risk of being thought sacrilegious, one recalls the verse from the Bible: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life…” While the words in that context have a rather more sublime intent in mind, they do point to an ancient and universal human truth — much of how we experience life will be determined by the choices we make when facing decision points.

We wouldn’t go so far as to say that Montana has actually chosen the “curse” side of the ledger — all too often, we seem simply to have failed to make decisions at all, engaging in magical thinking that it will all work out.

Drive a few hours to the West, however, and housing is on the rise, as Jan Falstad reports.

Stockman Bank Billings president Wayne Nelson said Realtors are busier than they’ve been in five years.

“Sixty percent of Montana’s top 10 builders are in Billings and 60 percent of the homes in Montana being built by April 30 were in Billings,” Nelson said. “We’ve got some traction going.”

The development in the Bakken has such an extensive reach, that even the Germans are interested. 

The Sidney Herald has this:

Now, Sidney will make a trip, in a way, to Germany through the eyes and ears of Martin Klingst, the Washington bureau chief for Die Zeit, or “The Time,” a 2 million-reader weekly German newspaper.

 Germany has very little oil and gas and some coal. The Germans, it seems, are particularly interested in oil and gas exploration, especially after the movie, “There Will Be Blood,” came out in 2007. The Academy Award winning film is about a gold miner who becomes an oil man on a quest for wealth in the early 20th century during Southern California’s oil boom. The film is based on the book, “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair.

Klingst likens the storyline to today’s modern rush in the MonDak; thousands of people flock for work, a tight-knit community that sees a sudden influx of people, suddenly business picks up after being virtually dead for a while.

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