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Dave Olson, Published January 28 2014

Firm combs Fargo area to fill high-paying western ND Oil Patch trucking jobs

FARGO – If you’re the sort who can wrap a truck tire with 70 pounds of chain, by yourself, at night, in a snowstorm, then MBI Energy Services may have a job for you.

The company actually has more than 90 truck-driving openings up for grabs, mostly in western North Dakota, and it sponsored a mini job fair Tuesday to try to fill them.

It was the company’s first recruitment effort in Fargo, said Kayla Klein, who conducted the event at the Hilton Garden Inn along with a colleague, Monte Horst,

Klein and Horst gave a number of presentations throughout the day, followed by interviews with job hopefuls.

They said the presentations are important because they give candidates an idea of what they will be getting into if they land a job in the Oil Patch.

The presentations also stressed MBI’s emphasis on finding people intent on building careers.

“We’re looking for someone with loyalty, that wants to stick with the company long term,” Klein said, adding: “We had a guy that retired last year and he’d been with the company since 1979.”

Michael Caruso, who attended Tuesday’s event, said long-term employment would be just fine by him.

Caruso, 38, said he’s staying at a homeless shelter in Fargo while he looks for work in the oil and gas fields of western North Dakota.

“This (recruitment event) popped up on a billboard about a week ago,” he said, adding that he’s already applied online.

“I’m hoping something good happens of it,” Caruso said.

Though he said he doesn’t have the commercial driver’s license many driving jobs require, he’s willing to work on getting one.

“I want a career, not just something that gets me by, paycheck to paycheck,” said Caruso, a Pennsylvania transplant who arrived in North Dakota earlier this month by train.

Horst said MBI, which is based in Belfield, has an 80-acre training facility that helps new drivers adapt existing driving skills – perhaps acquired on farms or logging camps – to the demands of the Oil Patch.

Klein said driving jobs in western North Dakota can pay $70,000 to $120,000 a year, but she said finding qualified candidates has been a challenge, particularly since MBI recently acquired about 140 new trucks.

“We’re looking for somebody that is very safety-oriented with strong communication and customer service skills, but safety is No. 1,” Klein said. The company has men and women in the field, “and all of them have been great drivers for us.”

Horst, who has been with MBI for nearly three years and is now a full-time recruiter for the company, knows a thing or two about driving truck.

“I’ve had a Class A (license) since I was 18 and that was many moons ago,” he said. As for working in western North Dakota:

“Oilfield driving can be off-road. It can be done 24/7, at night, during snowstorms.

“There’s a lot of chaining (of tires) that goes on,” Horst said. “Drivers in the oilfields are usually pretty good drivers.”

Klein said anyone interested in working for MBI can apply online at www.mbienergyservices.com.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555