Appalachian Basin

*UPDATE* Stark State College Moving On Up and Downtown

UPDATE (5/30/2013, 11:25 ET):  There is more great news out of the Utica Capital this week as Stark State College has purchased a building and announced plans that it will open the Downtown Canton Satellite Center and Energy Institute. This will bring an estimated 1,100 students downtown. Those many new bodies will surely bring new economic investment, offering services and creating a more vibrant downtown atmosphere.

“Stark State’s expanded presence will have a “ripple effect” on downtown  businesses and create additional “hot spots,” like coffee shops and  restaurants, what we were hoping for was that Stark State would locate a full facility  downtown and bring jobs and college students and opportunity to our residents,  and that’s what they’re doing, whether they went by the Civic Center or by the  Hercules plant or any other site in the downtown area it was going to be great for that section of town and certainly for the whole downtown.” – William Healy, Mayor of the City of Canton (Stark State energy campus offers “room to grow”, 5/30/13)

The building that was purchased is occupied by Chesapeake Energy and the Bureau of Workers Comp. Both will have to move out to make room for the class rooms and training center. Of course, Chesapeake is building a regional operations headquarters just down the road in Louisville (Ohio — not Kentucky!), and the BWC is making plans to consolidate and relocate to a different part of town; perhaps into the county or city building to save tax payer dollars.

The price tag for the building is $4.9 million, which is being paid from $10 million the state provided to Stark State for this project. The remaining $5.1 million will go towards build out and new equipment and technology. While this project and the millions being spent are significant to Canton and Stark State, this project is part of the larger federal project that is also taking place at two community colleges in Pennsylvania and one in Texas. All four are part of the ShaleNet program, for which over $14.9 million will be spent to create curriculum and training programs.

– Original post from September 21, 2012 –

This week, the United States Department of Labor announced that $500 million has been awarded in grants for workforce training in the oil and gas industry around the county. Stark State College, located in Jackson Township, Stark Co., was awarded $2.76 million as part of those grants. The Timken foundation also gave $500,000 towards the training program making the total available funds $3.26 million.

The grant monies will help develop what Stark State College is calling the Energy Innovation Center in downtown Canton, a city recently dubbed the Utica Capital of Ohio by it’s Mayor. It will have classes, labs and equipment all related to the oil and gas industry. The project is to be completed within the next few years.

Some of the many classes that will be offered are geology, welding, valves, GIS, CDL and others that will allow students to pursue a associate degree or a certificate in many different programs. There will also be a well head, tank batter, natural gas compressor and a mock working pumping well all at one site. All fo these will make this outdoor working well site a hands on lab for students to learn the natural gas industry.

These generous awards position Stark State College to become a national model for curriculum development in the shale oil and gas industry, employers need well-trained, credentialed workers to fill a wide range of jobs.  In conjunction with industry leaders such as Chesapeake, EnerVest, Marathon, ShaleNET-US, the Timken Co., Dominion and others, Stark State is addressing the need for highly skilled workers pursuing gainful employment in Ohio’s expanding oil and gas industry. – Para M. Jones, President, Stark State College (Stark State to tap grant for shale-related training, 9/20/12)

The State of Ohio also provided funds to build the facility. In an announcement made earlier this year, the state allocated $10 million to build the new downtown Canton Satellite Center that will include training for the oil and gas industry.

The $13.26 million dollars that have been set aside will train the tens-of-thousands of workers needed for Ohio oil and gas industry. It is with that training that will allow these individuals to gain good, well-paying jobs in the oil and natural gas industry and safely develop Ohio’s home-grown energy resources.

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