Marietta College students recently put on one of Ohio’s most successful oil and gas events to date, as the first-ever Marietta College Oil and Gas Technical Exhibition drew more than 50 businesses working in the oil and gas industry and well over 400 attendees. More importantly, the event showcased the broad support for Ohio’s shale industry among Buckeye State millennials, as well as how students are excited to learn about and work in the industry.
The latter point is evidenced by the leadership of the eight ambitious students from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois who were chiefly responsible for making the event a success, and we feel these students should be recognized:
- Derek Krieg, Class of 2019 (New Matamoras, Ohio)
- Evan Levine, Class of 2018 (McDonald, Pennsylvania)
- Sebastian Ziaja, Class of 2020 (Lake Forest, Illinois)
- Alex Hofmeier, Class of 2018 (Liberty Township, Ohio)
- Dustin Hale, Class of 2020 (Middle Point, Ohio)
- Nate Klaiber, Class of 2018 (Kane, Pennsylvania)
- Aaron Smith, Class of 2018 (Erie, Pennsylvania)
- Jay Chapin, Class of 2019 (Hebron, Ohio)
As Krieg, one of the event’s primary organizers, said,
“We started asking companies in the spring if there was an interest to be a part of something like this. We asked well over 100 companies and ended up with 51 being able to participate.”
Student participants gave resounding thumbs up to the 51 companies who participated, with one student reporting that,
“They’re giving full-blown explanations about the technology and they’re doing a great job educating us on procedures. This is giving us a chance to take our education out of the classroom, to handle equipment and ask questions, and also to make professional connections in the industry.”
Local newspapers and television stations reported that the expo was “packed” and by all accounts was a win-win for the companies and the students. Even more importantly, the shale industry has been a “win” for the entire region.
And it’s been full steam ahead in Ohio this year, as rig counts have ticked up 60 percent from their previous lows, natural gas power plants are sprouting up all over the state, and all major pipelines are now under construction.
The billions invested in Ohio shale have led to a surge in excitement from students who, for the first time in decades, actually have hope of finding gainful employment locally. While some in the media may not want you to believe it, it is clearly evident by this student expo that the oil and natural gas industry is being welcomed and promoted by millennials. Why? Because these young students know that the shale industry supported 262,800 Ohio jobs in 2015 alone! And with that, our hats are off to Krieg and the hundreds of other millennials who hosted and participated in this exceptional event.