Williston State College President Raymond Nadolny knows firsthand how an economic boom can create new opportunities, and new challenges, for a nearby college.
He accepted a position in 2000 with Lake Washington Technical College, which was dealing with its own issues at its campus in Redmond, Wash., during the rapid growth of Redmond-based Microsoft.
“But the Microsoft boom is in no way comparable to what is being experienced here,” he said. Western North Dakota’s oil boom, he said, has led to new growth for WSC, the third-smallest of the 11-member North Dakota University System.
But Nadolny said it also has caused a new wave of problems, including inadequate security, infrastructure and employee retention. He said the college has lost about one-quarter of its staff since spring as employees moved or, in some cases, were lured away by oil companies offering higher pay or better perks.