Colleges in Pennsylvania are adding programs to train workers for Marcellus Shale jobs. And a lot of workers will be required. MDN wrote about the presentation by Larry Michael (Pennsylvania College of Technology, PCT) and James Ladlee (Penn State Cooperative Extension) at the Binghamton Natural Gas Development Summit and their study that says every well drilled translates into 12 full-time jobs. Larry and James helped establish the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center at PCT in Williamsport, where they are training students for a variety of careers:
Careers include welders, construction workers, drivers and machine operators and fabricators.Tracy Brundage, [PCT’s] managing director of the Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs, said that as the landscape of the Northern Tier changes, so too do course offerings at the college.
She said input from energy companies has been influential in the design of 21 new courses.*
In Scranton, Lackawanna College established an applied science degree in Oil and Gas Production Technology program in December 2008.
To prepare potential employees for [Marcellus-related gas] jobs, Lackawanna College offers an associate’s degree in natural gas technology and is developing an operating and maintenance degree program in compression technology that could debut next fall.
In addition, the college will soon start giving accounting students at its Towanda Center the option of customizing their degree to prepare them to work in the accounting side of the natural gas industry.
Last week, Chesapeake Energy donated $50,000 to help Lackawanna College expand its Natural Gas Technology Program at its New Milford Center campus in Susquehanna County. The college plans to use the money for capital-equipment costs in fitting out their new facilities for the program that began last fall.*
As drilling in the Marcellus Shale continues to expand in Pennsylvania (and when it finally begins in New York), many thousands of new jobs will need to be filled by local people. And those people will need to be trained. Forward-thinking colleges and technical schools are expanding now to meet the demand.
*Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (Mar 24) – Some colleges add programs to train workers