Companies Learn How SD Can Help ND Oil Boom
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
September 24, 2012 3:19 PM
As the oil industry booms to our north, business leaders from that area are seeking some help from South Dakotans.
The growing oil community in the North Dakota Bakken Basin means there are growing opportunities for businesses in the Sioux Empire.
From housing to medical to even restaurants, leaders said there is a need for workers in all areas.
The Bakken Basin is a number of oil fields being drilled in northwestern North Dakota. It is 600 square miles of rapidly growing towns that in a few years have gone from 1,500 to 5,000 people.
The growth has created a housing shortage and plenty of open jobs, and that’s where North Dakota business leaders are hoping South Dakotans come in.
The Bakken Basin is where those in the oil industry are saying a modern day gold rush is taking place.
And some in South Dakota like Greg Sands; CEO of Sands Drywall who has already moved parts of his business to the area said its time for more people to do the same.
"It's exciting to see. Being in construction my whole life, seeing the process there in the oil patch its a different world,” said Greg Sands.
Paul Hegg of Hegg Companies thinks the same, so his company is educating area business leaders and investors about the opportunities at hand.
"I think you look at the fact that we are a neighboring state, we have all the capabilities here in our own community and our own state. And the demand the need they have in that Bakken Basin is unsurpassed,” said Hegg.
Hegg wants business leaders and investors to understand the time is now. The Bakken isn't going anywhere and in order to expand production, people need to start investing. And it should be Midwesterners doing so.
"You know the east or the west coast try and come in when we can be just as much help,” said Hegg. “I think we have the same understanding of the Midwest values an mentality."
But Sands said you are either all in, or not in at all and you must be willing to make a long-term commitment.
" The communities want to see that you’re committed,” said Sands.
Business leaders also want to remind other companies that to get in on the action they don’t need to move their business. Many companies have already been producing miscellaneous items such as door knobs, hinges, and hubcaps out of state and then shipping them.
Business leaders said it isn’t an over night investment. It takes time and a lot of money. They also said the greatest need is housing and to get more people working, they first need some place to live.