Faces of the Boom: New granddaughter provides extra incentive

Kevin Taylor of Redding, Calif., talks to his daughter and new granddaughter Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, at the library in Watford City, N.D. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

WATFORD CITY, N.D. – Kevin Taylor has a new purpose for the extra money he’s earning in North Dakota: spoiling his first granddaughter.

The Redding, Calif., man who is working for the oil industry in Watford City met his granddaughter for the first time Wednesday while video chatting with his daughter from the public library.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Taylor, who was trying to fight back tears of joy. “It’s just the most wonderful thing. I can’t wait to hold her.”

Taylor moved to North Dakota about a month ago in search of a high-paying job. He owned a construction business in California, which in recent years allowed him to “keep his head above water” but didn’t leave any extra money to save for retirement.

After arriving in Watford City, Taylor said he had multiple job offers with his work experience and a commercial driver’s license.

“If you have a clean CDL, they’re really knocking down your door,” Taylor said.

He chose to work as an environmental contractor for a Watford City energy company, a job that provides him housing.

Taylor now works about 75 to 80 hours a week and earns enough to save for his future, plus buy gift cards to Babies R Us for his new granddaughter.

“This oil boom is really creating a whole new comfort level for anybody who has any experience in a variety of things,” he said.

Taylor expects to be in North Dakota for the foreseeable future and eventually return to California. He plans to see his family in about a month, but in the meantime, he keeps in touch with them nightly through his laptop.

“Skype makes everything a whole lot better, even if it’s 10 minutes,” Taylor said.

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