WILLISTON, N.D. - In almost every city, in most every state, finding a job can be somewhat of a struggle. Not so in Williston, North Dakota. Though, families searching for new opportunity face a different challenge in the Bakken: housing.
"When I first moved to Williston, I knew housing here was sparse. I tried to purchase a house a few different times, but the market in Williston is challenging for a young professional," stated Leah Windnagle, WSC Director for Enrollment Services. "I was fortunate to have Williston State offer me housing. Without it, I don't think I could have stayed."
Finding quality and affordable housing in this town is like hitting the lottery. Some employees, like Windnagle, are lucky enough to find a job where housing allowances or housing itself is provided. Although the housing offered to her was meant to be short term - a way for her to live reasonably while searching for permanent housing - that, however, is all about to change.
Enter a 74-unit apartment building dedicated to employee housing, right on Williston State's campus. "It may seem a bit unorthodox (housing for employees and not students), but there was a need and we had to try and meet it," said Terry Olson, Executive Director for the WSC Foundation. "Being able to recruit and retain a workforce is vital to our community growth and well-being; making housing available and affordable is one way to do that."
During the development of this building, WSC and the WSC Foundation wanted to make sure that not only quality of product, but quality of life, was considered in every aspect possible. Instead of building a unit at every possible location, they allocated 7,500 square feet of retail space on the first floor. Currently, Olson is working with a number of businesses to determine who will occupy those spaces.
"I can't wait to move in," said Kaylyn Bondy, WSC Registrar and Director for Effectiveness. "I've done a lot of traveling and this is the kind of living arrangement you usually see in bigger cities - housing on top, businesses on bottom. It really makes for a fun living and working atmosphere."
Each unit features granite counter tops, maple doors and cabinets, washer and dryer, and a balcony. There is also underground parking and a variety of styles in units from studio apartments to three-bedroom apartments. Small pets are allowed as well.
All that aside, there are always the three "L's" of real estate to consider: location, location, location. "I can walk to work, I've got full-time security, there's retail just below me, I'll be just minutes away from the biggest and best recreation center in the Midwest, and there are events and entertainment on campus almost weekly," said Kayla McKeil, WSC Director for Marketing. "Why would I want to be anywhere else in Williston?"
Apartments will be move-in ready at the beginning of August. Housing in these units is contingent upon employment. While that may seem like an obstacle, remember that Williston State, like most business in the Bakken, has openings. "New programs, new grants, renovations, and expansions are a regular occurrence here. Because of that, we often have new positions available. It also creates a lot of internal opportunity as people find ways to advance and try new things," says Michelle Remus, Director for Human Resources. "Anyone who is looking for a fun place to work and live should definitely apply. Positions are listed at willistonstate.edu."
For more information about the apartments, please contact Liza McLean at 701.572.9275 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For other information regarding available jobs at WSC, contact Michelle Remus at 701.774.4204 or email@example.com. For all other information, please visit willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue.