Marcellus Shale Hits Main Street
Yesterday, with the launch of the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s (MSC) new website, marcellusonmainstreet.org, the Marcellus Shale has officially hit Main Street, Anytown–and no we don’t mean they’ll be setting up rigs downtown. I was at the launch in Williamsport to preview the new online business directory, while simultaneous events were held in Philadelphia, Johnstown, Washington, and Cranberry Township.
Marcellus Shale: A Win-Win for Economic Development
It is no secret development of the Marcellus Shale has meant major economic growth in Lycoming County and across the Northern Tier. From low unemployment rates to high economic growth rankings, the Williamsport area has experienced significant positive impacts from natural gas. This has been due, in part, to a very progressive Chamber of Commerce led by Dr. Vince Matteo, who made a point to travel to the Barnett Shale before any rigs entered Lycoming County. On this trip Dr. Matteo learned everything thing he could about natural gas development in respect to economic development and he created three impressive goals for moving forward with the Marcellus Shale play. These goals can be viewed as phases in the progression of the Marcellus Shale leading up to the MSC’s launch yesterday.
1. Encourage natural gas companies to set up offices in Lycoming County and 2. Get natural gas companies operating in Lycoming County to hire local people.
Check. The Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce has been very successful in bringing new businesses to the county–from one end to the other. In Hughesville there’s Baker Hughes and HWR. Clinton Township (Montgomery) has Halliburton which has hired over 600 people, 80% from Pennsylvania, and is expanding their facilities. Muncy has a joint endeavor between FishLips and the Chamber with Marcellus Energy Park where Weatherford employed 400 people by the end of 2011. The Chamber and FishLips just signed a deal for an additional 100 acres to bring in more businesses. In Montoursville there’s Chief Oil and Gas, XTO, and others. Williamsport has Anadarko, Range Resources, Universal Well Services, FTS International, and Precision Drilling just to name a few.
All of this growth has led to Williamsport area (Lycoming County) being named the 7th fastest growing metropolitan area in the country, with the 3rd most economic development projects of cities under 200,000 in 2011!
3. Get as many of our local businesses in business with the natural gas companies.
Take a look at the following short clip of Dr. Vince Matteo discussing this important aspect of economic development and how MarcellusOnMainStreet.com exemplifies this goal.
Marcellus On Main Street and Your Business
So what exactly is Marcellus On Main Street and what does it mean for your business? In short it is an online directory where local businesses seeking to get more traffic from the natural gas industry can advertise to those companies, regardless of the service the business offers. Can a company who makes pipes for well sites advertise on there? Sure. But so can salons, barber shops, grocery stores, banks, restaurants, dry cleaners and you name it. Here are some of the goals of the initiative.
1. Highlight the growing community of pro natural gas industry businesses
2. Enhance the relationship between MSC members and the communities in which they work.
3. Help MSC members access needed services and supplies.
4. Support economic growth through the Marcellus multiplier.
For $25 a year any local company can advertise on the site, have access from any location to update their information, and reach the over 200 MSC member companies, and others, who will use this directory to let their workers know where to shop, eat and sleep in local communities. There are already over 500 companies participating and the initiative launched yesterday! To join you just have to complete this form or contact the Marcellus Shale Coalition for more information.
MarcellusOnMainStreet.org Exciting News for MSC Members
Think natural gas companies won’t use the directory? It’s been a prominent point of discussion at recent MSC meetings with member companies and has been advertised through email blasts. Local chambers of commerce are helping spread the word and companies like New Pig are already expressing excitement to have this new resource available to them. Take a look at their reaction in the following clip.
MarcellusOnMainStreet.org Media Coverage
If you are looking for more information about this great new opportunity for your business, check out some of the coverage the launch events received and be sure to reach out to the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Television coverage of Marcellus on Main Street, WJAC-TV- Johnstown, PA
Radio interview highlighting Marcellus on Main Street, Marcellus Shale Coalition
New Website Connects Businesses to Marcellus Drilling Industry, Marcellus Drilling News
Marcellus business directory unveiled, Philadelphia Inquirer
MSC launches program for small businesses, Gas Business Briefing
New program connects small businesses with gas industry, Williamsport Sun-Gazette
New online directory links drilling industry, local suppliers, The Tribune-Democrat
New website connects small businesses with shale boom, Newsworks.org
Coalition launches directory of shale supply chain firms, Bizjournals.com (blog)
Coalition debuts ‘Marcellus on Main Street’, Central Penn Business Journal
Industry debuts Marcellus to Main Street initiative, State Journal