Sand plant jobs being added in Chippewa County - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sand plant jobs being added in Chippewa County

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New Auburn (WQOW) - It's no secret people have tried to keep sand plants and sand mines from being set up in their communities.  But with the national unemployment rate as high as it's been all year, workers are anxious, and sand mining in Chippewa County could be bringing in lots of jobs.

Cody Beal is looking for a new job. "Just looking at new plants around town, it'd be a lot closer, less distance to travel," says Beal.

And he's not alone. Hundreds turned out Monday at the New Auburn Job Fair, to hear about work in the sand industry.

"It's an opportunity for new business to come in, there's hope for young people, and people who want to have a job, and they don't have to drive to Eau Claire or Rice Lake, they can live where they work," says Dan North, President of the New Auburn Area Development Corporation.

Sand plants are popping up all over Chippewa County. Chippewa Sands is building a facility in Chippewa Falls, and Superior Silica Sands is building two plants near New Auburn.

"We wanted to come and hire as many local people as we could to operate the plant," says Joe McKie, with Insight Equity, the company that owns Superior Silica Sands.

And those jobs aren't just coming to sand plants, they're affecting other industries as well.

"Over the next year, we're looking at probably hiring somewhere in the 30 to 40 drivers range," says Kari Trulson, with Terri Durand Trucking.

Parts of Illinois, Minnesota, and right here in the Chippewa Valley are some of the only places with this special sand.

"This is one of the most opportune places in all of the US and potentially the world to open a sand plant like this," says McKie.

It's used to extract more oil and natural gas through a new type of drilling.

"The demand for sand is really huge," says Faith Linsenmayer, with Chippewa Sand Company.

"There's not nearly enough of the type of sand that you have here to support all of the drilling that's going on across the US and in some cases, internationally," McKie says.

Which means 130 to 150 new jobs in Chippewa County.

"By having something so much closer, it's going to help out a lot of people, bring a lot more jobs to the region," says Beal.

Another sand plant, EOG resources in Chippewa Falls, is holding a job fair for their new plant Tuesday. It will be held at the Chippewa County Job Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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