Natural Gas Helps Fund Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
The students in Elk Lake School District begin their school year like any other students in Pennsylvania. However, at Elk Lake, students have the opportunity to attend the new Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center (SCCTC). The SCCTC gives residents in the area in high school and post-secondary a place to go and further their education, with the goal of all students becoming gainfully employed or attending a post secondary education without remediation.
Elk Lake School Background
Elk Lake school has two wells on their property that have been producing for roughly three years with the only side effect being economic prosperity. One major benefit of having these wells on school property, is that they haven’t had to raise school taxes in years and were able to help fund the SCCTC project. Natural gas development is clearly impacting these individuals’ education in a positive way and will continue to do so for years to come.
We’ve got about $2.5 million so far from the gas. It’s allowed us to keep programs, we haven’t cut anything. – Dr. Bill Bush Superintendent of Elk Lake School District
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center
The SCCTC will cater to four different types of people:
- High school students
- Adult learners
- Business & industry
- The greater community
Adult learning entails retraining adults in new fields due to job loss or a new skill requirement. Business and industry requires highly skilled workers, and in a field where time is money, the SCCTC meets regularly with industry and business partners to continue to produce top tier students. The SCCTC gives back to the community by making their facilities open to them, so even those individuals without children in the school district still paying taxes can benefit. There is a business and industry lab available for the community, and community members have the ability to come in and eat in the restaurant, go to the cosmetology clinic, and even small engine repairs. This new facility seems to be a win for everyone in the area, especially the students.
The SCCTC will also be partnering with Mansfield University, making each program available on both websites and providing greater opportunities for students. Participants will now be able to earn associate degrees and there will soon be a registered nurse program at SCCTC because of this partnership.
Natural Gas Support
Not only have the gas royalties helped offset the cost of the project, but Cabot Oil & Gas also donated $6400 at the ribbon cutting ceremony that will be used to buy tools for the facility and anything else the students need. Dr. Alice Davis explains more below about the support from Cabot.
None of this project would have been possible without the help of Cabot Oil & Gas, as Superintendent Dr. Bush explains below.
With the ongoing natural gas debate in New York many wonder, “will these types of facilities and programs come to our area like in Pennsylvania or will the gas companies come here, develop and just leave.” The answer to that is yes, these facilities will have the potential to come to New York and provide services once thought impossible to see in the Southern Tier. Through the ad valorem tax, money directly resulting from gas development will flow right into the local economy and could potentially fund projects similar to the SCCTC. New York needs to hop off this anti-natural gas bandwagon, start thinking about their future generations and begin to provide educational programs so people have the chance to better themselves and earn a good living.
- Security and Protective Services
- Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician
- Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping
- Institutional Food Workers
- Health/Medical Assisting Services
- Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician
- Building/Property Maintenance
- Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technologies
- Welding Technology/Welder
With the amount and quality of programs offered at the SCCTC we can expect to see highly educated young adults and adults coming out of their doors and moving onto bigger and better things. Some may even be working for the gas and oil industry to develop natural gas near you!