The executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Association, Rhonda Reda, predicts that oil and gas drilling rigs will increase 300% in the next five years, and those rigs will create new jobs to operate them:
Reda participated in a panel discussion last week hosted by the Farm Bureau, which was attended by about 150 people.
“There are about 35 rigs drilling in Ohio now, working with multiple operators/producers and moving from location to location,” she said. “Thirty years ago, there were about 100. We may see a return to the higher number over the next five years.”
Recognizing that “the economic impact for Ohio will be pretty significant,” Reda said additional workforce training is a key element of seeing that economic potential realized.
“We’re focusing heavily on adult education programs at career centers, especially in eastern Ohio, where the most activity is taking place in our industry,” she said of the Granville-based organization.
Reda said military veterans and volunteer firefighters are considered ideal for oil field operator jobs.
“They’ve already experienced working in all kinds of weather elements,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 degrees below zero or 100 degrees — you have to be able to work in those weather elements,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or your child’s birthday.”
In addition to being able to work in all weather conditions, she said employees should possess a good work ethic and must be able to pass a drug test.*
*New Philadelphia (OH) Times Reporter (Feb 14, 2012) – Oil, gas rigs in Ohio expected to triple