MINOT AIR FORCE BASE If you need a job or want to look for a new job, Minot Air Force Base might have one for you.
As of Nov. 1, there were 155 vacancies for various types of jobs on base, said Kevin Nelson, director for Installation Support with the base's 5th Mission Support Group.
Those types of employment include: Civil Service (career personnel), nonappropriated fund civilians, Army and Air Force Exchange Service or AAFES (Base Exchange), Defense Commissary Agency or DeCA (Base Commissary ) and Rivet MILE (Minuteman Integrated Life Extension). The Base Commissary is the only one without vacancies, as of Nov. 1.
File Photo • Thirty-one of the 55 job vacancies with the Minot Air Force Base Exchange, as of Nov. 1, are in the Food Court, shown in this photo taken in March.
"There's a lot of jobs at the base. But we're competing with the oil industry for a lot of these positions, especially in certain career fields," Nelson said. He said specifically engineering, electricians and journeyman technician-type jobs are positions the base is competing directly with the oil field.
"We've had quite a few people resign and go to work in the oil field maybe 20," Nelson said. "It's not that they don't like their job at the base; it's economics."
Medical positions on base are another specific career field of concern. "The medical profession just pays more than we're allowed to offer. We're pretty much locked into a pay scale," he said.
Base jobs' info
Information about jobs at Minot AFB are available at the following websites or phone numbers:
- Most jobs (www.usajobs.gov).
- Nonappropriated funded positions (i.e. base hotel, bowling alley, child development center) (www.5thforcesupport.com) or (www.nafjobs.org) or call 723-2812.
- AAFES (Base Exchange) (www.shopmyexchange.com) or call 727-4984.
- DeCA (base Commissary) (www.usajobs.com).
Anyone wishing to apply for a government job anywhere would use the website at (www.usajobs.gov).
He said there's been times when only drive-up service has been available at Burger King on base. The Food Court in the Base Exchange also has had difficulties because of the lack of enough employees.
The Doolittle Center, the base's conference center, is a different situation. Because it was not getting enough patronage to make it pay, the facility now is only open for special activities.
Here's the base's employment classifications, current number of employees, number of positions authorized and current number of vacancies:
Civil Service: 421 positions filled (474 authorized), 53 vacancies or about 12 percent.
Nonappropriated fund (self-supporting positions such as with the dining facilities, lodging and child-development center): about 209 positions, 34 vacancies.
Base Exchange run by AAFES: currently, 117 current employees, 55 vacancies. Of the 55 vacancies, 31 are in the Food Court. Nelson said they have fairly good luck in hiring high school students for the Food Court's evening hours. At noon, basically spouses used to filled these jobs but now they're obviously working at other places.
Rivet MILE (refurbishment program in the missile field). Personnel work for Hill AFB, Utah, but at Minot AFB come under the 91st Missile Wing for scheduling, etc.): 52 authorized positions, 39 assigned, 13 vacancies.
For years, the Base Commissary has had difficulty filling positions, Nelson said. "The Commissary is authorized 37 people and for the first time in years they have all of them filled."
Until last May, there was a hiring freeze on Civil Service jobs, then a cut of 55 slots followed by the go-ahead to hire again.
Now, he said, they are trying some different things to attract employees with recruitment and retention bonuses. They are also trying to get the locality pay - a percentage on top of the pay scale - increased for Minot for Civil Service personnel.
Minot is in the locality area called "the rest of the United States," which is 14.16 percent, Nelson said. Some examples of locality pay in other areas, provided by Nelson, include: Minneapolis, 20.96 percent; Los Angeles, 27.16 percent; and New York, 28.72.
"It basically says the cost of living in these certain areas is higher than the national average, so in order to attract and keep help we have to pay a little more," Nelson said.
"We're doing a package to try to get the locality pay for Minot and probably western North Dakota increased so we can attract and keep the people that we need," he said.
With the various employment vacancies at the base, can everyone find a job in the exact career that they want to?
"Probably not," Nelson said. "But can they find a job? I don't think there's any doubt with that."
He added, "I don't want anyone to think that the civilian workforce at the base is not motivated and they're all going to jump ship. They're highly motivated, they're highly skilled and the work ethic here is astounding. If they do leave, it would be an economic situation. Their morale is high.
"The military as well. I'm always impressed with the military morale, how they do a lot of high-stress and sometimes mundane and repetitious jobs and they keep going."
"If you look at the senior leadership on base, the job that they do guiding, disciplining when necessary and motivating the personnel, I think is really astounding that we're able to accomplish everything we do with often what I call less than optimal circumstances."