GROW Has Placed 50 Ukrainians: More Employers and Sponsors Needed
Friday, October 13, 2023

The GROW Program (Global Recruitment of Oilfield Workers) launched by the ND Petroleum Council in March has already placed 50 Ukrainian immigrants in jobs with employers in western North Dakota.

In a presentation at this week's WDEA annual meeting, former Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who's managing the program for NDPC, said it was a challenge figuring out all the details of the federal government's United for Ukraine (U4U) program. But he said once they understood the details, they were able to identify 16 potential employers who were interested in hiring the immigrant workers.

Click here to listen to Sanford's comments.

Sanford said language has been a challenge, but NDPC recruited five bi-lingual individuals with whom they contracted to work as interpreters. He said their initial work has expanded to helping the workers find housing and other needs.

There is a cost for employers who participate in the program, but Sanford said they have found it to be less expensive than trying to find qualified workers from a large pool of applicants who don't have the required skills.

Click here to listen to Sanford's comments.

Sanford said many of the Ukrainian workers are interested in obtaining their commercial driver's license, and efforts are being made to connect them with training opportunities. He said employers have reported that all the employees have a strong work ethic.

Click here to listen to Sanford's comments.

Sanford said NDPC has heard interest from other employers outside the energy sector who are also coping with a workforce shortage. He said discussions are now occurring with other trade associations to explain the U4U process to bring even more workers to the state. Sanford said NDPC's goal is to place 100 Ukrainians in oilfield jobs by the end of the year. 

Click here to learn more about the GROW program or how to sponsor a Ukrainian worker.

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