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Truckers Head West - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Truckers Head West

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The state's oil boom has opened up a whole new job market out West. People in the Valley getting their commercial drivers license say the oil rigs may offer the best opportunities for them.

"I'm hoping to find work in the oil patch, supporting the oil sector in North Dakota." says Ed Chalmers who's taking the NDSCS CDL course. A semi is Brian Ware's mobile class room, where he helps people getting their CDL's or commercial drivers license.

"We see a wide variety of people that come in to get their CDL's we train people anywhere from 18 to 70." Brian says. But there's been a noticeable change in the industry, more drivers are heading to the oil rigs for work.

"Typically in every class we probably have maybe one or two folks who are really searching for an oil field type job, and then of course the immigrants are really looking forward to getting there because they can make a pretty good living." Brian says.

"The oil sector is booming in North Dakota, it's the place to be. You know, it's where the action is if you like." Ed says. But it's not everyone's dream to go out and work in the oil rigs but some say if that's where they can get work, they'll be flexible.

"Most companies won't hire you unless you've got a year or two years experience. The oil field will hire us right off the bat, so it's like I'm just going to get out there and see what I can do to find for work, I'm not going to give up if I can't find nothing, then I'll go out to the oil fields." says Bill Stoops who's also in the class.

Brian says for a lot of drivers the west gives an opportunity of a place to start. He says, "Something to put on a resume, some good solid experience where they don't have any accidents, they can move on to better jobs or better paying jobs once they spend a year working in a job that may be a little more difficult or not exactly what they wanted."

Brian says some people he's trained, that went out West, now have become owner operators because they've started their own water or oil hauling business.

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