Marcellus Shale

New York Gearing Up for Marcellus Shale Jobs

We still don’t know for sure if 2012 will be the year Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finally begin permitting Marcellus Shale wells in New York. What we do know is, regardless of when or if this occurs, the residents of upstate can’t wait any longer for the jobs their neighbors to the south are cashing in on. While the City of Binghamton may have sent the natural gas industry a message they are closed for business, the rest of Broome County is making plans to train local workers and help them find the jobs New York currently can’t offer.

Natural Gas Career Expo…in Broome County?

That’s right. It’s time for New York to gear up and take advantage of the tremendous economic benefits the Marcellus Shale industry has to offer and Broome County is leading the way with the first Natural Gas Career Expo! This event is being organized by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc. (JLCNY), Broome Community College, Labor Force Development of NY, and Broome County in an effort to connect local workers with jobs in the natural gas industry.

Ironically, based on the very public sentiment against natural gas development by Mayor Matt Ryan, and the recent moratorium the lame duck city council enacted at their last meeting in December, this event will take place at Broome Community College in–you guessed it–Binghamton. I know what you’re thinking, “Not everyone in Binghamton is opposed to natural gas development?” Nope, not even close!  And, those residents and business owners who could be seriously impacted by the Binghamton City Council’s short-sighted political decision, which gave little consideration to the needs and desires of these constituents, are taking matters into their own hands. Clearly, many Binghamton business owners and residents did not drink the Great Davidsky’s kool-aid guzzled by their previous council and soon to be former mayor.

But I digress. Enough about Binghamton politics; the real story here is the proactive approach this community is taking to educate residents and provide real solutions to the dire economic situation facing Broome County and much of Upstate New York.

The Natural Gas Career Expo will be held at Broome Community College on April 11, 2012 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Ice Center. Admission is free to all and free parking will be plentiful.

Attendees can apply for jobs with natural gas companies and, more importantly, the many vendors already operating in Pennsylvania. Many of these potential opportunities are with businesses located in New York, already benefiting from the work provided from the south.

Not looking for a job? No problem.  There will, in addition to the employment networking opportunities, also be educational seminars and equipment displays outdoors.

Standardized Marcellus Shale Training Programs

Career expos are a great start to get the ball rolling in New York, but in order to truly prepare the workforce for the potential job opportunities, they need to be properly trained. New York is at a slight advantage to Pennsylvania in terms of when the industry first came into the state, because current degree paths have already been identified as being beneficial to obtaining natural gas related employment. What’s more, there are groups such as ShaleNet, the Marcellus Shale Center for Education & Training, and Pennsylvania CareerLink that have been developing standardized natural gas curriculum and definitions. Schools such as Lackawanna College have already established a precedent with a successful natural gas associate degree program, earning job offers in the natural gas industry for 100% of their first graduating class!   Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) will even be opening a hands-on training center for emergency responders and their natural gas career tract students. New York, in other words, won’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Take a look at the following videos of Larry Michaels from Penn College and ShaleNet discussing some of this.

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Just How Many Marcellus Shale Jobs Are We Talking About?

If you listen to the opposition to natural gas development, you’d think there were no jobs being given to local residents in Pennsylvania and the same will be true in New York. This couldn’t be further from the truth! But please, don’t take my word for it. Have a look at the following videos of Larry Michaels, an expert on the topic of local hiring and training.

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In case you didn’t watch the whole 5 minutes, some of the key points very worthy of being highlighted are as follows:

  • There are roughly 150 different occupations per well. This is everything from the roustabouts to title searchers, welders, helicopter pilots, maintenance, etc. And these are just the directly related jobs.
  • In Lycoming County, there will be an estimated 4,000 jobs created directly related to natural gas. With the Marcellus Multiplier–and yes for all you skeptics it does exist–there could be an additional 6,000 to 8,000 jobs created in food service, hospitality, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. And that’s just Lycoming County, Pennsylvania!
  • These jobs are generational. They aren’t 1-2 year jobs, they’re 20, 30, maybe 50 year positions.

So, as New York begins to ramp up for the new opportunities soon to be available to their workforce, we wish them the best of luck. We’ll certainly be there to cover your first Natural Gas Career Expo and look forward to watching your successes in the future!

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