Appalachian Basin

Shale Development Gives Students Hope of Staying in the Buckeye State

My name is Alex Sava.  I’m the co-founder and treasurer of the Buckeye Shale Energy Organization (BSEO) at The Ohio State University.

BSEO is a group of students in mostly engineering and geology fields that aims to educate interested students on the vast opportunities shale development offers and to connect dedicated students with interested employers.

I left the Youngstown area in 2008 to pursue a degree in civil engineering at Ohio State.  At that point in time, I believed after I graduated, the job market in the Youngstown area would not allow me an opportunity to move back home.  The situation has changed dramatically since then.  In the past year, the Utica Shale has created more than 8,000 new jobs.  That statistic is very promising for college students considering the fact that this industry is in such an early stage. Based on seeing a portion of the money being invested, the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays are a potential and sustainable solution for our country’s energy needs.   Energy from shale development is estimated to be able to supply the United States for 100 years.

The full potential is untapped at this point, and job opportunities will continue to grow for anyone interested in getting into the oil and gas fields, (such as engineering, geology, and construction) as well as those outside of those fields (business and communications). These new jobs will attract students to stay within Ohio and will also attract students from other states to move to Ohio. This influx of people will have a great impact on our state’s economy through taxes and general spending in our economy.

More companies are going to be needed to provide many of the resources necessary to improve this industry.  I know large oil and gas companies, such as and , have made significant mineral lease purchases around the Youngstown-Warren area.  These companies will create a high volume of job opportunities as the shale plays progress.  Additionally, more jobs will be opening up in local businesses.  The trickle-down effect of this industry should be felt all over Ohio.  Small businesses are already starting to see the Utica Shale’s effect.

I’m not a political analyst, nor an economist but I believe that this shale is one of the most encouraging developments to hit the Youngstown area since the steel industry of the past.  While other students getting ready to graduate college might be worried about their prospects, the Utica Shale has made students in my field confident about their future.

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