Appalachian Basin

Spring (Into) Training: PTI’s New Natural Gas Training Facility

The Pittsburgh Technology Institute recently broke ground on its new Energy Technology Center just west of Pittsburgh in North Fayette Township. The center will provide a home base for two new programs designed to train workers for in-demand jobs in the oil and natural gas industry. 

Natural gas development continues to expand across Pennsylvania, and so, too, does the opportunity for job growth in the region.  The Pittsburgh Technology Institute recently broke ground on a new facility constructed to accommodate two new programs to train the Commonwealth’s future oil and gas workers to meet the demands of a burgeoning oil and natural gas industry.

The school’s new programs – welding and oil and gas electronics – were the result of over a year of curriculum planning. This curriculum is designed to train students in the skills sought by the industry, and will provide the necessary training to ensure great opportunities in their field of choice.

Pittsburgh Technology Institute's Welding Program

Pittsburgh Technology Institute’s Welding Program

Those students will be able to go out, work with control systems, electronics, be maintenance-type technicians that are working on the well sites or traveling around working on well sites. – Jeff Belsky, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Pittsburgh Technology Institute (PTI Breaks Ground For New Welding, Oil & Gas Electronics Facility, 2/26/13)

Before the groundbreaking ceremony of the 15,000-square foot facility was complete, enrollment in the two year programs was already on the rise.  PTI President Greg DeFeo noted this interest is not only coming from those seeking training or retraining, but from the companies seeking to employ qualified workers as well:

Classes in some of these new programs are filling up beyond our expectations. Employers are coming out and telling us the faster we can get a qualified work force out there, they are ready to hire them, so we are excited. – Greg DeFeo, President of Pittsburgh Technology Center (PTI Breaks Ground For New Welding, Oil & Gas Electronics Facility, 2/26/13)

Homegrown energy and a homegrown workforce – with seven out of ten of new hires in the oil and natural gas industry hailing from the Commonwealth, the continued effort to provide training opportunities to local talent will ensure this success continues.

It’s an effort supported by the community, and its leaders. Energy in Depth talked with Congressman Tim Murphy (18th District), who applauded the program, and what it offers the region:

The launch of Pittsburgh Technical Institute’s energy technology center ensures southwestern Pennsylvanians have the educational tools necessary to train properly and obtain long-term, well-paying careers. With this addition, our residents will be able to train for skilled jobs that support our local energy sector right here at home. – Congressman Tim Murphy (R-18)

From McKeesport to Montrose, communities are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by Marcellus Shale development by continuing to develop programs like PTI and the Western Area Career & Technology Center – located in Washington County and highlighted in a previously in a guest post by Don Roessler – to ensure immediate and future growth.

Pennsylvania’s vast oil and natural gas resources are providing a multi-generational opportunity for families across the state. These training programs allow for our workforce to seize these opportunities, in turn allowing our communities to thrive and prosper.

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