BISMARCK, N.D. (10/7/13)--The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas last week joined a delegation of credit union representatives and state and federal regulators on a tour of the oil-impacted areas in Northern and Western North Dakota.
The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas last week hosted a delegation of credit union representatives and regulators on a tour of the oil-impacted areas in North Dakota. Among those participating, from left, were: Denton Zubke, Dakota West CU, Watford City; Darrell Olson, president/CEO, Town & Country CU, Minot; Robbie Thompson, CUAD president/CEO; Bob Entringer, North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions commissioner; C. Keith Morton, National Credit Union Administration regional director; Amy Kleinschmit, CUAD director of compliance; Shannon Webster, Town & Country CU senior vice president of marketing; Buddy Gill, senior strategic communications and external relations advisor to NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz; Melanie Stillwell, CEO, Western Cooperative CU, Williston; and Corey Krebs, North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions senior examiner. (Photo provided by Credit Union Association of Dakotas)
CUAD had requested that the National Credit Union Administration tour the area and meet with area credit unions to see firsthand the challenges facing credit unions in the rapidly growing area.
"It was a tremendously educational trip," CUAD President/CEO Robbie Thompson said. "I think that no one really understands what it is like in these areas until they experience it firsthand." He and league Director of Compliance Amy Kleinschmit led the tour.
Included in the tour group were C. Keith Morton, NCUA regional director; Buddy Gill, senior strategic communications and external relations advisor to NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, and Bob Entringer, North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions commissioner.
The tour kicked off in Minot, N.D., on Oct. 1 with a meeting and panel discussion. More than 20 North Dakota credit union professionals shared their experiences and asked questions of the panel. Regulators heard about the challenges facing North Dakota credit unions, such as falling capital resulting from deposit growth, new member verification difficulties, and how increased regulation makes it more difficult to serve members.
CUAD representatives then led the group, including North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions Senior Examiner Corey Krebs and a contingent credit union executives, to Williston, N.D., where they toured a Target Logistics Housing Facility or "man camp," that houses more than 400 oil-industry workers.
The group visited Stat Oil to discuss the long-term prospects of oil production in the Bakken area. North Dakota is the second-highest oil producing state in the country, and it is estimated that the Bakken oil field will produce oil for at least 30 years.
Rory Nelson, Western North Dakota's energy impact coordinator for the governor's office, discussed the impact of oil production on the area. He estimated that the number of permanent oil jobs in the Williston area will grow to more than 30,000 from 10,000 by 2025.
Melanie Stillwell, CEO of Western Cooperative CU of Williston, and Denton Zubke, CEO of Dakota West CU, Watford City, stressed to regulators that the inability to find affordable housing and daycare makes attracting and retaining employees a huge challenge for credit unions. Also, competing with "oil field" salaries and the rising cost of training due to high turnover means that controlling expenses is becoming increasingly difficult for credit unions.