Appalachian Basin

Stark State College Announces Energy Innovation Center

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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