In the rapidly expanding Bakken oil-shale region, there are more jobs than there are homes for people to live in. The city of Dickinson, ND is a prime example of one of the cities most affected by the boom.
Menards is an extremely well-known home improvement chain in the Dickinson, ND area. They should be able to generate a very large income given the area’s demographic and economic stability. Unfortunately, they have no employees to run the store locally. So, the company is importing workers in from it’s original location in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Not just relocating them, but flying them in once a week. This 1,000 mile plane ride may seem like a temporary solution to a long-term problem, but Menards Inc. has stated that it is the final solution.
This approach may seem insane, however, there simply aren’t enough unemployed people in the Minot area to fill the open positions required to run the store for even one day, let alone a long-term endeavor. There is also absolutely no housing available in the area, making relocation impossible.
Another major problem that Minot faces in its struggle to acquire workers is its extremely cold winters that make many people leave the city entirely, causing an even bigger gap in the employment rate.
The mayor of the city hopes that eventually some of the airborne Wisconsinites will decide to remain in the city permanently. This arrangement will most likely benefit the Eau Claire area, bringing some of North Dakota’s money to Wisconsin.