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  • December 2014: Energy of North Dakota Give Back this Holiday SeasonDecember 29, 2014


    A small portion of the toys collected for Toys for Tots during the Fuel Food and Fun Drive line the counters at the North Dakota Petroleum Council offices.YOU GET WHEN YOU GIVE

    The oil and gas industry gives tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer time each year to North Dakota communities, charities and organizations. Much of this goes unnoticed or unrecognized. This year, the North Dakota Petroleum Council and its members joined together to make a big impact for the holidays, while one company gave for continuing education and another created a program that is focused on giving veterans a shot at careers.


    Fortis Energy Services, a leading oil and gas well service provider with operations in North Dakota, has launched a Fortis 4 Vets hiring program. Under the Fortis 4 Vets Program, both Veterans and thosecurrently serving in the Reserves and Guard are sought after as valuable job applicants.  Currently, 10 percent of the companies staff are current or former military personnel.

    “At Fortis we believe that hiring a Veteran, Guardsman or a Reservist just makes good business sense,” Nathan Conway, CEO of Fortis Energy Services, recently said at a Young Professionals in Energy banquet in Pittsburgh, Pa. “We appreciate these men and women for the leadership, professionalism, dedication and pride they bring to our company. They possess a particular degree of unique talents and expertise and it is in recognition of these talents that we have established the Fortis 4 Vets hiring initiative.”


    A donation from Hess Corporation will go toward purchase of two hydraulic system trainers for the Mechanical Maintenance program at Bismarck State College. Representatives of the company present a check for $29,621 to the BSC Foundation last week.

    “Hess and BSC are good partners,” said Steve McNally, North Dakota general manager. “The training programs help energy employers meet workforce needs with qualified, competent employees. We are proud to be part of growing North Dakota’s workforce.”

    Growth of western North Dakota has created high demand for maintenance technicians. BSC’s Mechanical Maintenance program has expanded to meet that demand, but maximum class size makes it difficult for students to spend quality time on current equipment. Adding trainers will allow more students to receive hands-on training and one-on-one instruction.

    “We want to make certain we can train enough students to meet the needs of industry from our traditional employers, as well as positions created by the Bakken development,” said Gordon Binek, BSC Foundation executive director and vice president for college advancement.

    Arriving at the Mechanical Maintenance campus in Mandan will be a basic hydraulic system (85-BH) for learning fundamental hydraulic principles, and a basic pneumatics learning system (85-BP) for introducing pneumatic principles. Both are designed and manufactured by Amatrol.

    The devices will train students on mechanisms they will encounter on the job using industry standard components. The hydraulic system trains students on pumps, gauges and valves, while the pneumatic trainer teaches how those components fit into real-world applications such as robots, rock drills and truck brakes.

    Donations will help ring in the New Year

    The North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) recently presented donations totaling $187,000 to six charitable organizations, including the State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation, Village Family Services Center, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (via the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way), the Dakota Heritage Foundation, Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation and the Children’s Museum of Minot. Funds were donated from revenues generated by the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in May and the Energy of North Dakota Fishing Derby held each summer.

    The ceremony also marked the completion of the NDPC’s 1st Annual Fuel Food and Food Drive, which collected more than 5,360 pounds of food for western North Dakota food pantries and 589 toys for Toys for Tots to deliver to underprivileged children in western North Dakota.

    “Having a positive impact in our communities continues to be a priority for us and our members,” said Ron Ness, president of the NDPC. “Companies have done so much on an individual basis, but we wanted to come together this holiday season through the Fuel Food and Fun Drive to make a real impact and bring joy and resources to those less fortunate.”

    Fuel Food and Fun Toy Drive Benefit Toys for Tots, Area Food Pantries
    Several NDPC members partnered with Toys for Tots and area food pantries to host the 1st Annual Fuel Food and Fun Drive. The program offered companies, their employees, families, clients, contractors and community members an opportunity to contribute to the Toys for Tots program to distribute toys to underprivileged children living in the local communities in which companies operate.

    “We are excited to work with the North Dakota Petroleum Council and its members to help spread joy this holiday season,” said Michelle Charvat, local coordinating officer for Toys for Tots.

    As part of the campaign, companies also collected nonperishable food items and supplies that will be distributed to community or area food pantries. The NDPC awarded $1,000 to Bakken Mobile Thrift Store on behalf of Panther Pressure Testers of Watford City, ND, and $1,000 to Make-A-Wish Foundation on behalf of Whiting Petroleum for collecting the most food in weight. The event marked the first joint event organized by the NDPC’s Community Outreach Committee, a group dedicated to enhancing the industry’s community outreach efforts and making a larger impact in western North Dakota. The Committee will organize a Bakken-wide blood drive next February.

    NDPC and Members to Partner with First Lady Betsy Dalrymple in Imagination Library Initiative
    North Dakota First Lady Betsy Dalrymple joined the NDPC and its Board to announce a new partnership to fund Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an early childhood literacy program for children ages 0 to 5. The NDPC’s goal is to fund the program in all western oil and gas producing counties. The NDPC contributed $10,000 to the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way to help get the initiative underway.

    “As a mother, grandmother, former teacher, and school board member I understand the importance of getting children to love books at an early age,” said Dalrymple. “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a terrific program that gives books directly to young children. Early exposure to reading helps prepare children for school and makes them more successful through their lives. I am so thankful for the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s donation to help offer this program to children ages 0 to 5 in western North Dakota.”

    Enerplus, Hess Corporation, MDU Resources, R360 Environmental Solutions and WPX Energy made early commitments to help fund the program. The NDPC, United Way and Office of the First Lady will continue efforts in the coming months to recruit more involvement in the program.

    Other donations presented included:

    State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation
    The NDPC presented $150,000 to the State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation for the newly expanded Heritage Center.

    Village Family Services Center
    A $10,000 donation to the Village Family Service Center will help the organization continue its mission to improve the quality of life through services designed to strengthen individuals, families and organizations.
    “The expansion and robust growth of the economy in the western North Dakota oil patch is great for North Dakota and those who live and work here,” said Janet Zinke, Director of Planned Giving for Village Family Service Center. “We, at The Village, are incredibly heartened to see the petroleum industry also acknowledge the need for ongoing support to those who do the hard work and deal with the ongoing stress and challenges that work places on them, their children, and their families. This gift from the North Dakota Petroleum Council will help underwrite continued access to mental health and other supportive services needed by the good people at work in western North Dakota.”

    Dakota Heritage Foundation
    The NDPC gave $10,000 to help with the purchase of tree and shrub planting equipment necessary to build and improve pheasant, deer and other wildlife habitat in western North Dakota. The NDPC also assisted the Dakota Heritage Foundation complete a grant application to the Outdoor Heritage Fund by providing habitat and grant writing consultation services earlier this year.

    Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation
    A $3,500 donation to the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation will assist with a prairie grasslands restoration project at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, ND.

    Children’s Museum of Minot
    The NDPC contributed $1,500 for the Children’s Museum of Minot, which is an institution committed to serving the needs and interests of children by providing exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning.

    “We are very proud of our members and their employees whose work and contributions to our communities often go unrecognized,” said Ness. “In 2013 alone, our members contributed more than $20 million to North Dakota charities, organizations, civic groups and others and volunteered countless hours, which no doubt carried over to this year. We are excited to carry this momentum over into the New Year and thank them all for their involvement and dedication to making North Dakota an ever better place to live, work and raise a family.”


    Corval Group was recently recognized by industry peers and customers as the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award Winner during the Williston Basin API Chapter Third Annual Achievement Awards. Presented by the 2013 winner, Continental Resources, the Outstanding Achievement Award highlights achievements of individuals or organizations whose tireless work, innovative solutions and community involvement produce the energy and economic activity that fuels the region and country.

    Corval Group’s foundational value is Safety. As a result of this commitment to a culture of safety, this past year Corval Group achieved two major national safety milestones by completing 1,000,000 hours of work without a recordable OSHA injury and over 4,800,000 hours without a lost time injury. Corval’s safe work performance places itself in the top 1% of contractors throughout the country.

    Corval’s Executive VP of the Northwest Region, Kurt Swenson, shares “It takes great leadership from our project and field staff to achieve these milestones in one of the most difficult construction environments in the United States today.  It is a testament to their daily commitment to our foundational value of safe work performance.”

    Learn more about Corval here.