MSC Says Gas Production Continues to Strengthen Economy

Marcellus Shale Coalition News Release

Takin’ Care of Business

Clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas production continues to strengthen region’s economy, local workforce

The responsible and environmentally sound development of clean-burning natural gas from the Marcellus Shale continues to have a potent impact on our region’s economy and its workforce. This production is creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, a robust and growing supply chain network, tremendous amounts of economic opportunity, while at the same time helping delivering affordable supplies of homegrown energy to consumers throughout the Rust Belt.

“The potential is limitless,” says Gov. Ed Rendell, who underscores the fact that the “economic benefit of drilling in the Northern Alleghenies is welcome news in the midst of a sluggish economy and weak job market.”

Marcellus development is helping to buck otherwise bleak regional economic and job growth trends. This development has been – and continues to be – a boon for energy consumers, the environment, local businesses, and even for Pennsylvania’s state parks. In short, clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas is providing benefits to each and every one of the 12 million folks that call Pennsylvania home, in one way or another.

Call it a “Commitment to the Community.” Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president Kathryn Klaber writes this under that headline in the Lock Haven Express yesterday, highlighting the steps shale gas producers are taking each day:

We are committed to working tirelessly each day to be good stewards of our land and waterways. We are also taking steps to ensure our operations minimize disruptions and risks in and near energy-producing communities. After all, our families live in these areas too.

While modern shale gas production involves intricate engineering technologies and techniques, our industry’s top priority is far less complex: Safely developing these clean-burning, job-creating resources in a way that benefits all Pennsylvanians – and protects the environment.

And while Marcellus development is still in the early stages, many of these benefits are already being realized. According to a recent study released by researchers at Penn State, our industry will help create nearly 212,000 jobs across the Commonwealth over the next decade. Last year alone, Marcellus development was responsible for the creation of 44,000 jobs.

And like our industry’s commitment to responsible development, we take very seriously our efforts to create job opportunities for locally trained and hired workers. As Marcellus production continues to expand, these opportunities will, too. Under the headline “Making good on a promise; Halliburton plant creates jobs,” the Williamsport Sun-Gazette highlights this promise in a story this week:

When ground was broken last August on a cement mixing plant owned by Halliburton off Route 405 in Clinton Township, company officials promised they would bring jobs to this area. The company is making good on that promise, said Perry A. Harris, senior district manager for Halliburton’s northeast U.S. operations. “By year’s end we’ll have 75 to 100 (employees) and (add) another 100 to 150 next year,” Harris said during a recent tour of the plant.

Harris said the company plans to develop another 55 acres nearby that will be home to other Halliburton gas field support operations. “Between the two sites, we’ll (be hiring) 400-plus people over the next two to three years,” Harris said.

And local training programs continue to offer and plan for coursework needed to equip the area’s workforce to join our fight for a cleaner and more secure energy future:

  • Educators Tailor Courses For Marcellus Drilling Job Demand. “Local educators are creating additional courses commonly required in the Marcellus Shale drilling industry as the number of rigs is expanding across the Northern Alleghenies. Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology secondary education director Todd Taylor told WJAC-TV that there’s been a recent spike in adult students completing commercial driving license classes to drive vehicles used to haul equipment and liquid in and out of drilling sites. CPI officials plan to add an emerging energy course and expect to see of local job-seekers landing drilling rig jobs. (WJAC-TV, 8/9/10)
  • Johnson hopes to build gas drilling workforce. “As development of natural gas from the state’s Marcellus Shale continues, the demand has now increased for skilled welders. Johnson hopes to meet that demand through an initiative by the Center for Sustainability at Johnson College, which is dedicated to offering industry-driven curriculum related to clean, green, and sustainable energy concepts. (Times-Leader, 8/10/10)
  • Roustabout training offered. “Information on free training for workers seeking jobs as roustabouts in the natural gas drilling and production industry will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 12 in Founder’s Hall, Westmoreland County Community College near Youngwood. (Pittsburg Tribune-Review, 8/5/10)
  • SCCC may train gas-drilling work force. “Now count Sullivan County Community College among the institutions planning for a future that could include natural-gas drilling. Workforce Development Dean Stephen Mitchell is researching the kinds of jobs gas drilling would make available and what skills those jobs would require. The research could underpin a new job-training curriculum at the college. (Times Herald-Record, 8/3/10)

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