Last week North Dakota announced an ad campaign looking to bring in new workers to help fill more than 20,000 jobs in the state—many in the field of manufacturing.
Here in South Dakota, new companies are also working to fill some of the same manufacturing jobs.
The new Marmen Energy Manufacturing facility opened in Brandon this July, adding 125 new jobs to the community, but the company is looking to double that number in the coming months.
To fill all of the open position, the Canadian-based wind tower producer has come up with a creative solution. Marmen has saturated the local media market with advertisements searching for employees. You can see there ads on local TV stations, billboards, radio spots and in local print publications—all getting the word out that the production plant is open and searching for skilled manufacturers.
"If you want to hire twenty workers you can hire anybody like that but if you want to hire good people that will stay with you for the long run, that will be dedicated, that will be willing to work the way we want to work, sharing our values it's more difficult," said Vincent Trudel, Marmen Energy's Vice President of Operations.
The Wind Tower Producers are looking to hire a total of 250 employees for their Brandon manufacturing plant who have a specialized set of skills.
"Since the shop is new we are looking for people in every area so we need people in welding, we need a welding operator, production supervisor, mechanics as well...painters, mettle handlers so we really need a whole bunch of people," said Trudel.
But those manufacturing trades can be some of the most difficult positions to fill.
"There are less people attracted by those trades, which is bad because those are good work, good trade, good salary, good pay good benefits," said Trudel.
Many manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have faded away over the past few decades, taking about the experienced workforce. It's why Marmen energy is working with local tech and training schools to bring more employees to the field.
"The first thing is just to get the people in, then the next thing is you have to train them, because most people don't know our process, they don't know our product, we have to train them about our equipment," said Trudel.
The new job openings also mean some population growth for the Brandon community. Marmen's ad campaign is reaching far across the Midwest, bringing new families to town specifically for the job openings.
"In general I think it is hard for us to get employees here, just because we don't have the population to support the hugest businesses, but with Marmen advertising the way they are, it is showing the rest of the community, the state and the country that we do have great jobs here and that this is the place to be," said Kim Cerwick, the President/CEO of Brandon's Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber says they continue to welcome 30-35 new families to the Brandon community each month. Since Marmen Energy opened in July, many new Brandon residents have a connection to the manufacturing field.