Basin Electric helps new employees with housing in the Williston Basin

Bryan Keller, Basin Electric

Bryan Keller, Basin Electric’s manager of Transmission System Maintenance (TSM), is facing challenges in retaining and recruiting TSM employees to live and work in the Williston Basin.

Food, water and shelter are basic human needs. For people living and working in the Williston Basin, the hardest of those to come by might be shelter.

To help retain and attract employees in the Williston Basin, Basin Electric is now offering additional housing options at a subsidized rate. Many of those employees work in the cooperative’s Transmission System Maintenance division, which is headquartered in Mandan, ND.

A story in the March-April 2013 issue of Basin Today magazine, “The Challenge of R & R,” details the issue.

An excerpt:

Basin Electric has a lot of work to do in Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative’s and McKenzie Electric Cooperative’s service territories to help meet the load growth in the Williston Basin. That work includes constructing and operating the Pioneer Generation Station and the Lonesome Creek Station, obtaining easements for the planned Antelope Valley Station-to-Neset 345-kilovolt transmission line, and planned substation and microwave communication site additions.

Bryan Keller, Basin Electric’s manager of Transmission System Maintenance, says TSM work that needs to be done in the Williston Basin is getting done by bringing employees from other facilities in North Dakota, and from South Dakota and Wyoming, though an increasing workload is making that arrangement more difficult.

“We’re bringing crews up from wherever we can spare them from time to time. It’s stretching us pretty thin,” Keller says. “Timeliness is an issue in staying in compliance with required maintenance and testing. These crews are supposed to be completing work on equipment near their home location, though you’re pulling them out there to get things done that you have to get done.” Read more.

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