Forum News Service: North Dakota economy would gain with local wind farm hiring

Jill Schramm - Forum News Service

MINOT, N.D. — The wind energy industry’s reliance on out-of-state construction labor is costing North Dakota’s economy more than $62 million, according to a report released on Oct. 16 by advocacy group Local Jobs North.

The report found increasing the 10% to 30% hire rate for local construction workers to 50% to 60% would generate a $62 million greater economic impact, not including worker retirement benefits, which would increase the impact by $82 million.

“Catching the Wind 3.0: The impact of local versus non-local hiring practices on wind farms in North Dakota” was authored by Lucas Franco, research manager for LIUNA Minnesota & North Dakota, which represents more than 12,000 unionized construction laborers in the two states and is affiliated with the Laborers International Union of North America.

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