BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A college in North Dakota's booming oil patch said Wednesday it will stop housing foreign workers who are part of a program meant to fill temporary jobs, leaving service industry businesses wondering how they will find employees in a city with a massive housing shortage and just 1 percent unemployment.

The new chancellor of North Dakota's university system, Hamid Shirvani, had ordered Williston State College to stop housing foreign workers, saying in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that the practice "raises legitimate safety and security concerns" and was a misuse of the school's facilities.

"Housing foreign workers was not intended when the Legislature authorized bonds or appropriated public funds to build, maintain and operate the facilities," Shirvani, who took over as chancellor in July, wrote in the letter to Ray Nadolny, the president of Williston State College.

The workers were part of the so-called J-1 visa program, which is administered by the U.S. State Department and is designed to allow foreign exchange students to fill season or temporary jobs, such as in ski- and beach-resort towns. Businesses in the western North Dakota city of Williston have been relying on the workers to fill fast-food, hotel and other service industry jobs. The students were given one hour of college credit for working but never had to attend regular classes at Williston State, Nadolny said.

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