Crazy Commute: Wisconsin Workers to Staff ND Store
Menard will fly 50 employees from Eau Claire to Minot weekly
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2012 9:24 AM CST
Menard says it will hire workers from its home base in Wisconsin and fly them to North Dakota to staff a store in Minot, which is near the state's booming oil patch.   (AP Photo/The Minot Daily News, Jesse D. Watson)

(Newser) – And you thought your commute was bad: Home improvement retailer Menard plans to fly 50 workers weekly from its headquarters in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to a store in the booming town of Minot, North Dakota. A nearby oil patch has swelled the town's population to nearly 50,000 (up from 36,500 in 2000), and it's rebuilding in the wake of last year's record flooding. That combination of factors has led to strong demand for building materials, and as the only big-box building supply retailer in Minot, Menard is struggling to find job takers in a town with just a 2.3% unemployment rate.

Menard intends to train the workers at Wisconsin stores and send them to Minot "as soon as possible," says a rep for the company, which says the plan "is going to be a permanent solution for as far as we can see." Those who make the more than 500-mile commute will be housed in hotels. The AP notes that Menard has offered a starting wage of $13 an hour at the Minot store.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Dec 2, 2012 8:53 AM CST
The reason Menard's can't get local folks to work their Minot store is obvious... which brings up the question: will Menard's get a business tax deduction for the expense of flying employees in from Wisconsin and putting them up in Minot hotels? And along with that tax deduction and the prices they're charging, how much of a profit will Menard's make with this venture? I smell corporate welfare when some business does something like "fly in employees".
Dec 1, 2012 10:05 AM CST
North Dakota might be a rich state but the people in Minot are not. Rents have skyrocketed but local wages have not. It's impossible for natives to live there anymore. Screw you Menard's.
Nov 30, 2012 12:09 PM CST
I wonder if this is what Scott Walker meant when he said he'd create more jobs for Wisconsin.