#ShaleBenefits: Jefferson County Gains 11 New Companies Thanks To Utica Shale
Just last fall, ABC News featured the city of Steubenville in a story about the emerging shale development, and how it is revitalizing Jefferson County’s ailing economy. The positive impacts the county is experiencing is not unlike what’s happening across the country and (today) across the state here in Ohio thanks to the development of the country’s vast shale resources.
When the ABC story was released, the Utica Shale was just beginning to take off in Ohio. At the time, not a single well had been developed in the region, and we were only beginning to recognize the economic benefits and job creation we would experience as the calendar turned over a new year.
Fast forward to today. Jefferson County has seen the Governor’s State of the State address with a focus on shale, a visit from Senator Sherrod Brown on Utica Shale jobs and a program at Eastern Gateway Community College helping local residents to get jobs in the oil and gas field.
This is great news for a county in Eastern Ohio. And at this early stage, an as-good-if-not-better story is the amount of investment coming into the county since the beginning of 2012. Over 11 companies associated with shale development have now made Jefferson County their home including a major shale developer. These 11 companies are providing or are projected to provide over 500 jobs in the county. With the 5th highest unemployment rate in the state, these are much needed investments.
The Hess Corporation has now made Jefferson County its home, investing more than $1 million into its new offices, located on the west end of Steubenville. They are looking to employ more than 25 people at their regional office. Hess has a considerable stake in the Utica play focusing their development in Belmont, Jefferson and Harrison counties.
Express Energy Services, a well service company, has opened shop in Toronto which is in northern Jefferson County. The company is looking to have 100 employees by the end of the year. They are also planning to construct a new regional operating center in the county within two years.
Another major employer who moved into the county is Heavy Duty Industrial Services. They are now located in Wintersville and have already provided more than 70 jobs. The company expects to have 100 employees by the end of 2012.
Jefferson County Industrial Park has also welcomed three new companies. Riley Petroleum, Premiere Pump and North American Industrial Services Group have all made the move to the Industrial park providing services from fuel supply to oilfield services creating over 150 new jobs at the park.
Even though Utica Shale exploration is in its infant stages, it has already proven to be a significant job creator in eastern Ohio. With unemployment rates dropping in the Mahoning Valley and Carroll County, the benefits of shale development simply can’t be denied.
We are seeing the beginning of a renaissance for our area of the state. Utica Shale production is estimated to bring over 204,000 jobs across the state over the next 5 years. Jefferson County is just one county already seeing these benefits. As development continues to grow, Jefferson County will continue to see more investment and jobs created as well as the rest of eastern Ohio.