Menards to import employees to North Dakota

A shortage of workers in Minot, N.D., has forced Menards to take an unusual step for a home improvement retailer: hiring workers in one city and then flying them to work five-day stints in another state.

According to an article in the Leader-Telegram, Menards is recruiting workers in Eau Claire, Wis., its headquarters city, to work at a Menard store in Minot, N.D., where the oil fields have lured away much of the local labor force with high paying jobs. Qualified candidates will be trained in Eau Claire and then transported aboard company aircraft to North Dakota. Part of the deal includes free double-occupancy lodging and stipends for meals.

The newly hired workers will earn $13 an hour in base pay, plus incentives for overtime, weekend shifts and specific positions. Typical shifts will last between 50 and 60 hours a week.

The two cities are 500 miles apart. Menards officials came up with the air commute idea after being unable to hire enough workers to staff their 16-year-old store in Minot, where the latest unemployment rate is 2.2%, according to the article.

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While most of the states in

While most of the states in the country are facing high unemployment rate, Menard Inc. finds it hard to get workers. According to the AP, there are 22,000 more jobs in North Dakota than workers, and though the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, many businesses in the state pay more to attract a labor force.