Appalachian Basin

Senator Portman Connects Job Seekers with Oil & Gas Jobs, Training

The summer of 2013 is starting off strong in eastern Ohio. U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s office hosted an energy jobs fair this week in Youngstown, in partnership with the Ohio Oil & Gas Association and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. More than two dozen companies and roughly 15 training centers and universities sent representatives to Youngstown to give Ohioans a chance at the incredible opportunities the oil and gas industry is bringing the state.  Several hundred eager applicants pre-registered for the jobs fair, with many additional folks expected to attend.

The morning began with Eric Planey, Vice-President of International Business Attraction at Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, who introduced the day’s host, Sen. Portman. The Senator addressed hundreds of attendees, telling them he has faith in the area and the opportunities coming to Ohio because of shale development:

“I believe in the Valley, the Valley is coming back, and oil and gas is going to be a part of it.” –U.S. Senator Rob Portman


Senator Rob Portman addresses the crowd of job seekers early on Monday.

Companies like Chesapeake Energy, MarkWest Energy Partners MS Consultants, V & M Star, and Plumbers and Pipefitters 396 offered “Skilled workforce opportunities,”  which include pipeline welders, engineers, maintenance technicians, plant operators, electricians, millwrights, CAD drafters, designers, mechanical estimators, and surveyors.

Meanwhile, “general workforce opportunities” were provided by companies such as Dominion, Halliburton, Ohio Cat, and U.S. Steel.  These types of openings include entry level jobs to operate water pumping stations, technical and well operators, drivers, equipment operators, derrickmen, business planners, dispatchers, and sales/operations management.

Lastly, universities and colleges such as Youngstown State University, Stark State College, Eastern Gateway Community College, Zane State College, and Belmont College were giving information on degree programs and workforce training offerings.  Technical centers like ITT Technical Institute, Diplomatic Protection Training Institute, New Castle School of Trades, Trumbull Career & Technical Center, and Columbiana County Career and Technical Center were giving information on (and signing applicants up for) technical training programs that prepare individuals for specific oil and gas industry jobs.

Senator Rob Portman speaks with a representative from Eastern Gateway Community College on their shale gas training programs at Monday’s jobs fair.

While Energy In Depth has attended multiple oil and gas job fairs since shale development has begun to revitalize the state, today’s job fair demonstrated once again that elected officials and business development agencies are fully behind the industry.  Ohio’s recent economic success is new to many, especially with much of the state being plagued by the recession and economic stagnation. But as a glimmer of hope, shale development is providing thousands of jobs across the state, and companies are looking to invest in the Ohio workforce for generations to come.

Today the job fair saw individuals from all walks of life looking to get their foot in the door. Veterans, students, former steel workers, and many others — all looking for a better opportunity.  As production continues to ramp up in the Buckeye State, more opportunities will certainly be available for Ohio’s eager workforce.

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