The diesel industry is reaching bigger heights than ever in North Dakota, where automotive and heavy equipment dealerships are concentrating their efforts to try and attract more students to enter the field. “It’s crazy right now, the demand for diesel,” said Ann Pollert, technician and career developer for General Equipment & Supplies Incorporated (GES), a company that holds offices in a handful of North Dakota cities.
During the recent North Dakota Automobile and Implement Dealership Job Fair at the Bismarck Public Schools Career Academy, GES came ready to recruit new talent by offering a sweet deal for prospective college students. In essence, the company would pay anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of a student’s loans upon graduation, and in return, the student would have to agree to a three-year commitment.
The commitment requires the student to participate in the GES’s Diesel Tech Program, which entails working at one of the four locations during the summer, as well as winter and spring break. Pollert hopes to recruit at least 18 kids into the program.
We suspect that for a profession that will be paying $45-55K a year, takes care of a significant majority of tuition debt, and prepares graduates for a growing and exciting industry, Miss Pollert won’t have very much trouble finding potential candidates.
GES was one of a few companies attending the job fair. Others included RDO Equipment, a dealer of mainly agricultural and construction vehicles and tools, which was hoping to fill about 70 positions for diesel technicians. Elsewhere, RDO’s internship program, Access Your Future, was looking for freshmen and sophomores to work in paid positions, while graduates could consider joining the company as sales representatives, complete with a sign-on bonus.
All in all, it looks like North Dakota is the place to be right now for a job in the diesel industry. Indeed, as the country’s fastest growing economy, it seems the reasons to live anywhere else in the U.S. are dwindling by the day.