Marcellus Shale: Helping Keep Families Together
The economic benefits and consumer savings brought to Pennsylvania by responsible Marcellus development are well-known. Perhaps less well known is the role that natural gas exploration has played in bringing families together and keeping children and grandchildren close by. This is due to the job opportunities now available, right here in our area. No longer do our graduates have to leave home to do well.
This is the subject of Energy In Depth’s latest video “Women of the Marcellus.” The video highlights three families from northeastern Pennsylvania that were reunited and strengthened thanks to opportunities provided by Marcellus development.
The Marcellus Shale has, as the video so magnificently demonstrates, has helped provide this foundation for families throughout the Commonwealth. The Marcellus Shale is now employing, directly or indirectly, nearly two percent of Pennsylvania’s workforce, after just five years of development.
Just last year, job growth from the Marcellus represented approximately 80% of all new hires in the Keystone State.
This has reversed the “brain drain” that was siphoning away Pennsylvania graduates just seven years ago. That was then, this is now.
We expect this trend to not only continue, but also grow in importance in coming years as additional opportunities develop.
A recent study by Wells-Fargo indicates continued Marcellus Shale development could provide an additional 200,000 jobs by 2020. That means even more Pennsylvanians will have an opportunity to work close to home and their extended families. From where we are sitting that’s good news.
Perhaps it’s not too far off when Pennsylvania will no longer be one of the oldest states (by population) in the country and we, as future parents, can look forward to our children being able to start their families closer to home.
Meanwhile, we add ourselves to the examples provided in this video. Nicole has been able to stay in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, moving only a few miles from her hometown of Williamsport to Hughesville where she found employment in the natural gas industry. Rachael has been fortunate enough to benefit from Marcellus Shale development prior to a single rig ever entering her hometown of Afton, New York, or even her state for that matter.
That was an opportunity neither of us thought we would have while we were in school. From our point of view, it’s nice to have been wrong. And, like the other women in the video, it is our mothers and grandmothers, more so even than ourselves, who are most thankful for this miraculous change coming to our communities.