Good jobs in ND

Tanner Hopfauf


I recently had the opportunity to send a letter similar to this one to Congressman Armstrong and the Committee on Climate Crisis. In it, I wanted to inform the committee on the many thousands of North Dakotans, including myself, who have found rewarding careers in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.

I grew up and went to school in southwestern North Dakota in the rural town of Dickinson. The increase in activity and opportunities presented by the oil and gas industry drew me to the University of North Dakota to attain a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Upon graduating in May of 2018, I accepted a full-time position with an exploration and production company and have been there since. My career thus far and educational decisions would have been drastically different were it not for the oil and gas industry in my community.

My story is not unique. Before the oil and gas industry really became established, many young adults from rural North Dakota were forced to look for jobs and long-term career opportunities out of state after graduating high school and college. Simply put, the jobs that offered long term career advancement didn’t exist in ND. Our rural communities were consequently shrinking, and we were losing our small-town culture and a way of life so many had enjoyed for generations before. The oil and gas industry has totally changed this outlook, and local citizens now have the ability to have successful and meaningful careers in the area they have always called home.

Oil and gas companies that offer full-time careers with great benefits are moving to and operating in North Dakota. With these new opportunities, the state can retain its workforce and boost the quality of life with higher wages and jobs in all its communities.

I am proud to have grown up in Western North Dakota, I am proud to have graduated from college in Eastern North Dakota, and I am proud to be an active member of the workforce the oil and gas industry has established in North Dakota communities.


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