At Whiting, community engagement is integral to how we are known as a company and individuals. The way we interact with the communities where we live and operate is what sets Whiting apart. We invest with our hearts, our hands and our resources. Our growing community commitments are a direct reflection of our culture.
In 2017, our social investments remained focused on four strategic pillars driven by the needs of our communities.
Developing a sustainable workforce for the energy industry is important to us. We invest support efforts from elementary schools through higher education institutions. Workforce development and education are key components of our social investment.
Health & Safety
Safety is always our highest priority. We strive to protect and improve the health and safety of our employees and the communities we work and live.
Our operations have a significant connection to the environment. Protecting the land, air and water where we operate is paramount. We responsibly produce energy, while working to reduce our impact on the environment and to conserve natural resources. During emergencies and natural disasters we have provided assistance to community relief agencies and are prepared and trained to offer support to our communities when needed.
It is our social responsibility to meet the needs of the communities in which we operate and live. We want to enhance the quality of life and do our part to make our communities healthy, safe and eminently livable.
Community outreach is an important part of any successful company’s culture. Involvement in the communities where we operate builds workplace moral, strengthens working relationships and positively impacts workplace outcomes. Whiting has always been an active member of the communities where it operates. In 2014, we began to standardize our approach to community relations across all our locations.
The model is simple. A representative manages community outreach for each office. They engage a committee of employees in their office to determine which events and charities Whiting should support. We believe it works best when we listen to our employees and local stakeholders and empower our offices to tailor their engagement to their communities. This approach was created in North Dakota, but because of its success we expanded it to all our locations, including our corporate office in Denver, in 2017.
Throughout the year, we assess the effectiveness of our social investment approach. This process allows us to collaborate, identify best practices and align our social investment with the areas of greatest community need. We accomplish this by:
- Seeking out community partners.
- Including our partners in the design and implementation of the engagement process.
- Communicating openly.
- Seeking solutions that create mutually beneficial business and engagement approaches and build long-term value for both the company and our community partners.
- Following through on our commitments.
PROACTIVE COMMUNITY RELATIONS:
We are very receptive to our communities and when concerns are raised, we do our best to help. This section discusses some of the larger projects we worked on in 2018.
MCKENZIE COUNTY WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER
In 2018, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum identified work force development as one of the top issues facing the state. By the summer of 2018, the Governor’s office estimated North Dakota had between 14,000 and 28,000 open jobs. As a result, he has created a statewide taskforce to find ways to keep North Dakota students in the state and show them the professional opportunities that exist at home.
The issue was first raised to Whiting by the Superintendent of the McKenzie County School District in the spring of 2018. Dr. Holen believed nearly 2/3 of the McKenzie County graduating seniors were not going on to a 4-year university. He had the idea to create a program to meaningfully engage the students and show them other options. Whiting was the first company to sit down with the district and offer to help. In the first year, we committed $75,000 to get the program off the ground, had Whiting employees in classrooms describing our company and industry and began developing curriculum with school officials. In 2019, we hope to start building a campus for the program and formalize the curriculum that will benefit all McKenzie County students by teaching them about oil and gas, agriculture and healthcare and their potential opportunities in the fields.