Monday, December 10, 2012

New Great Falls projects may pull workers from the Bakken

According to a recent AP article, new projects are coming into the Great Falls area, intending to provide service to the oil sands of southern Canada.

The Great Falls area has the benefit of being close to the Canadian border -- as we were reminded a few years ago when a Calgary couple had to come to a Montana town of fewer than 60,000 inhabitants in order to have their quadruplets delivered -- another triumph of the Canadian health service over the inferior American one. Additionally, Great Falls is large enough to provide a labor force, unlike other towns on Montana's northern tier.

That's potential good news to Montana residents who have relocated to the Bakken oil extraction projects in North Dakota.

They're now inquiring about possibilities to work closer to home, said Sarah Converse, director of Sweetgrass Development, an economic organization for north-central Montana...

Commuting to the Bakken for work from places like Great Falls and Billings is no cup of tea for workers. The development of service industries closer to home will be a boon -- but of course such service jobs are dependent on continued growth in the oil fields themselves.

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