Appalachian Basin

Ohio State Students Gearing Up for Ohio Energy Jobs

With new oil and gas related programs opening across the state, there is no doubt that schools across Ohio have taken notice of the incredible potential of Ohio’s Utica Shale development, and The Ohio State University is no exception.

Energy in Depth – Ohio recently visited OSU to attend a meeting of the Buckeye Shale Energy Organization (BSEO). Comprised of students in engineering and geology, the group is led by Dr. Jeff Daniels of OSU’s School of Earth Sciences. The group aims to educate interested students on the vast opportunities shale development offers and to connect dedicated students with interested employers.  At the meeting, Professor Daniels explained that the group also promotes the incredible potential that lies in the Utica’s resources, as well as the safe practices used by oil and gas developers to extract those resources.

EID-Ohio had a chance to talk to the BSEO’s President, Vince Melillo.  The fourth-year engineering student and Youngstown native spoke on the goals and objectives for the organization. He stated the group planned to learn about events surrounding the industry, become immersed in the energy companies involved in the Utica, and build a stronger and larger group to gain recognition in their efforts.  By getting their group noticed, they hope to draw recruiting companies to OSU and get a shot at the jobs that are revitalizing Ohio. He said they are planning a networking event in the fall and beginning to compile a list of companies they would like to get in contact with (stay tuned!).

The group recognizes the opportunities the expanding development of our energy resources has for growing our workforce and providing Ohioans the opportunity to gain good work in Ohio. This has not been the case for awhile, particularly for our young workforce. The option to stay in state, gainfully employed, is something very attractive to these students.

Coming from the Youngstown, Ohio, kind of ‘Rust Belt’ area … I always felt growing up that you had to make a decision between whether you wanted to stay with your friends and family, kind of around home, or if you wanted to be successful, you would have to go out and leave and go somewhere else … I saw a great opportunity right away that I could actually be a part of something near my hometown that I could have some pride in—Vince Melillo

Another student hoping to reap the benefits of this growing industry is Mike Murphy, a geology graduate student and president of the student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.  He believes his prospects look very good because of shale development, and as he shares below, he is already seeing employment opportunities here at home.


Thursday’s meeting also brought in Pete MacKenzie, a geologist serving as the Vice President of Operations at the .  In providing guidance and aim to the students looking to gain knowledge of the industry, MacKenzie outlined the history and prospects of shale development.  His presentation was encouraging to the students as it showed the excellent employment outlook coming to Eastern Ohio – thanks to development of the Utica Shale.

They’re exploring the opportunities of the shale in Ohio. From their perspective, for getting jobs—Pete MacKenzie

Students regularly hear how difficult it will be to obtain employment after graduation, but the long term potential of Ohio’s Utica Shale development has put the students in BSEO at ease. They have established a group that will help them take part in the exciting revitalization of Ohio, and find opportunities in the state they call home.

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