Appalachian Basin

Local Experts Tout Shale Benefits at Youngstown Truthland Screening

Coming off the heels of three successful Truthland events in Columbus, Cambridge and Canton, Energy In Depth took the movie and panel discussion to Youngstown, Ohio.  The event held at the Youngstown Museum of Industry and Labor drew about 60 people who came to watch Truthland and learn more about Utica Shale development happening in the region.

The event attracted supporters, opponents and those interested in educating themselves on the next great generator of jobs and opportunities for eastern Ohio.  After the movie was shown, for those who have not seen the movie be sure to watch at, Energy In Depth hosted an expert panel discussion featuring local and state experts as well as Shelly, the narrator and truth-seeker of the movie.

The panel consisted of Penny Siepel, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association; Shelly the star of Truthland; Tony Paglia, Vice President of  Government Affairs of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and Tim Callion Business Agent for the Local 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the conversation allowing the audience to gain a new understanding regarding each of their backgrounds.  But the most moving portion of the panel discussion was hearing how positively shale development has affected local businesses and organizations like Local 396.

Both Mr. Paglia and Mr. Callion touted the success of the region noting that shale development has provided them with a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale economy.

“We estimate in the last 18 months, jobs created directly and indirectly from the oil and gas industry ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 jobs and investment of over a billion dollars in our area.  We are an area that has seen a lot of problems over the last 30 years.  We have actually been in a recession for the last 30 years.  We were always at the bottom of the list around the country for economic growth and job growth.  There were 100 communities and we were usually 100.  In the last two years we are actually showing we are in the top 10 in the country in job growth and manufacturing growth.  We are seeing a resurgence of manufacturing.  Many of these jobs are dealing with companies who provide equipment, services for the oil and gas industry.”- Tony Paglia, Vice President of  Government Affairs of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Paglia is correct in his assertion that shale development has done great things for the local economy.  It is great day when you can say steel is seeing a resurgence in not only Youngstown but in Ohio as a whole.  Let alone the many benefits Local 396 is seeing from all of the new manufacturing and steel development happening in the region.  Mr. Callion filled the crowd in on the exciting opportunities shale development has provided for Local 396.

“We went from probably 60% employment a year ago to a 100% with our members here in the valley to reaching out through out the country.  We have brought in pipefitters as far west as California as far south as Texas to the east coast just to get the steel mill built.  We are looking at the same type of growth once the wells start get going in this area.  There is a couple of companies that have come in and set up fabrication shops and they are actually now working in the PA area.  The sites are in Pennsylvania but the fabrication is taking place here in Youngstown, Ohio.  And we have about 50 people working in those fab shops right now.”- Tim Callion Business Agent for the Local 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union

The steel plant Mr. Callion was referring to was the V&M Star steel plant that Local 396 helped build. It will provide shale developers with the much needed tubular steel to develop these wells in not only Ohio but the region.

The crowd at the event tonight got a dose of facts regarding shale development as well as a crash course on the importance of the Utica Shale in the Mahoning Valley.  As development continues the Youngstown area has a lot to gain in terms of job and revenue growth, luckily they have already reaped significant benefits on a burgeoning industry in eastern Ohio.

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