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BISMARCK, N.D. | As North Dakota sets oil production records, a local oil group is offering experienced oil workers a chance to advance their careers with the hope of increasing employee retention.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council has hired a company to offer training for workers who have around two years of experience and are emerging leaders and managers, The Bismarck Tribune reported. Envision Group International held one training session in November and plans to hold six more events this year.

The oil and gas industry advocacy group knows that preparing employees for management roles is key to retention, said Kari Cutting, the vice president of the Petroleum Council.

"They recognized they were having problems hiring and retaining employees and the challenges new leaders are having," said Scott Donald, a partner with Envision Group.

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Envision Group Founder Pat Lipovski said employees who are good at their jobs and selected for managerial positions don't necessarily have the skills needed to oversee groups.

The training sessions teach workers important communication skills, Cutting said. Trainees discuss getting employees excited about a project, active listening, giving professional feedback and how to relate to different types of employees.

North Dakota's oil industry produced nearly 1.4 million barrels a day in October, a more than 2 percent increase over the previous month, according to Lynn Helms, the director of the Department of Mineral Resources. There are more than 60 rigs operating in the state, compared to about 50 rigs last year.

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