The Wilkes-Barre newspaper The Citizens’ Voice has an inspirational article in today’s edition about women working in jobs operating heavy equipment—not something you hear about often. As part of the story, we learn about the enormous impact Marcellus Shale drilling has had in the northeast Pennsylvania area on business in general, and on two construction-related businesses in particular:
As a result of the Marcellus Shale industry, Linde Construction has doubled in size in two years and now employs about 300 people, said president Scott Linde. Gender isn’t a factor when hiring, he said. People are hired based on their abilities to do the work, he said.
"We’re looking for qualified, safe employees who can operate equipment, especially in the new gas division, and women seem to fit that very well," Linde said. "They tend to be dependable. The more we can find, the better."
Pointing out that machine operators can make up to $70,000 a year, Linde said, "I think it is a good career for anyone in the Northeast who wants to work outside and earn a living that you can definitely raise a family on. But, you’re going to have to work and your schedule is somewhat dictated by the work."
Joe Latona, co-owner of Latona Trucking and Excavating, said employment at his business also has increased as a result of the Marcellus Shale industry. Of his 180 employees, about 85 work in Marcellus Shale areas, including one female truck driver, he said. His daughter Jamie also drives a truck for his company.
Latona said he rarely sees applications from women who want to operate heavy equipment, but he is pleased with the company’s overall growth as a result of the gas drilling.
"We’re a very blessed company," he said.*
*Wilkes-Barre (PA) The Citizens’ Voice (Mar 29, 2012) – Women at work