Help wanted in North Dakota: State to launch worker recruitment campaign


North Dakota is in the midst of an economic boom, and it needs thousands of workers to fill job openings in a wide variety of businesses. State officials recently announced a new campaign aimed at luring people from other states to fill those jobs.

The campaign, whose theme is "Find the Good Life in North Dakota," will launch nationwide in May, WDAY reports. It will promote North Dakota as a good place to live, work and raise a family, officials say.

The effort is not aimed at people who are attracted to jobs in the oil fields of western North Dakota, which are mostly short-term positions. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said the goal is to fill jobs in industries that are in high demand in North Dakota, including engineering, health care, energy, skilled trades, transportation and information technology.

“Right now, having enough highly skilled people to meet the opportunities here in North Dakota is one of the key challenges for our economy moving forward,” Wrigley said in announcing the campaign last month, according to WDAY.

The state had 20,205 online job openings in February, according to Job Service North Dakota, and that number is expected to grow by 76,000 jobs by 2020.

The $800,000 campaign is being paid equally by tax-supported state funds and a donation by Hess Corp., a major player in the state’s oil and gas industry, according to the North Dakota Commerce Department. The campaign will launch a website, purchase media advertising and set up visits to college campuses and job fairs.

State officials hope to attract veterans and active military members, as well as job seekers and new college graduates from other states. They're going to target potential workers in neighboring states, including Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports.

About half the workers who have moved into North Dakota since 2010 have come from Minnesota, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — in 2012 alone, that number was more than 15,000.

The campaign will also focus on Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to WDAY.

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