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New oil and gas job training facility open in Williston

Despite the current oil and gas drilling slowdown Williston is now home to a new workforce training facility, according to the Forum News Service.

The new, $7.5 million TrainND Northwest Center at Williston State College combines classroom education with the campus’ petroleum simulator and field program, which includes a workover rig and other field equipment for hands-on experience.

TrainND CEO Deanette Piesek told FNS, “We don’t want our instruction to just be classroom stuff. We really think it’s so important because there’s so many people coming to Williston that have never been in the oilfield that they actually get to see some of the equipment.”

The new 19,740-square-foot facility will allow TrainND to expand and diversify its training and education programs. Safety instructor Andy Reeves told FNS the new space will also help accommodate companies that are requesting more specialized training courses. Halliburton, for example, has requested two classes for new hires and will be scheduling additional classes in the fall. Piesek said, “It’s a strong sign when you see companies hiring again.”

During the downturn many companies have been trying to retain their valuable employees and are taking advantage of the slowed activity, offering workers the opportunity to participate in courses to refresh their knowledge or to update safety certifications. Piesek said, “Instead of having them sitting around, they’re upgrading their training.”

Although enrollment has declined since the slowdown, the drop hasn’t been as substantial as some predicted, thanks in part to the existing workforce furthering their education. Compared to last year, enrollment was down by about 2,000 people, but was still higher than the year prior. TrainND will begin to offer classes at the new building on August 17. To read the original article, click here.

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