Union Support for Marcellus Drilling at PA Rally

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a Pennsylvania-based industry group headed by Kathryn Klaber, held a rally at the Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday. Their aim was to dispel two popular myths about drilling in the Marcellus Shale: that the jobs are temporary, non-union jobs, and that the jobs all go to out-of-state workers from Texas and Oklahoma.

At the rally to support the Coalition were union members from the Laborers’ International Union of North America, who presented evidence that it’s local, union membership that often fills positions in the Marcellus workforce.

The union’s legislative director Abe Amoros said:

“Marcellus Shale has been a tremendous boost for our members,” Amoros said. “We’re glad these jobs are here to stay and will be around for at least a generation.”

The statistics show that 7 out of 10 new hires in the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania are Pennsylvanians:

Mike Narcavage, an executive with Chesapeake Energy, a company drilling for gas in Pennsylvania, spoke of a brain-drain “boomerang.” People who had left Pennsylvania for work are returning because of opportunities that have opened up in the Marcellus Shale industries, he said.

Increasingly, he said, Pennsylvanians are being hired for drilling industry jobs.

A recent survey of the Marcellus Shale coalition’s membership showed “seven out of 10 new hires were from Pennsylvania,” Narcavage said.

“We are definitely hiring local,” he said.

Statistics from the Department of Labor and Industry support Narcavage’s claim.

Sue Mukherjee, director of workforce development for Labor and Industry, said 74 percent of new hires come from within the state.*

*Harrisburg (PA) The Patriot-News (May 22, 2012) – Marcellus Shale Coalition touts industry’s success in Pennsylvania at Capitol rally