Appalachian Basin

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Recently, at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers ballpark in Niles, the Energy in Depth team joined over 2,500 game attendees and 100 invited guests from the area to celebrate our nation’s birthday and talk shale.

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In addition to family July 4th activities, members of Local 396, Local 935, The Youngstown – Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce and our friends from Energy Citizens all came out to the ballpark to watch the fireworks and engage in conversation about how the valley is making a comeback, thanks in large part to shale exploration and development.

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On this site we have discussed in previous posts about the new and exciting economic development that’s transforming the Youngstown, Warren and Niles area for the better. But on this night, these conversations were different. It is one thing to read the 2012 Economic Development Report Card, which detailed the 7,000 jobs created or retained in 2012, with total investments in the valley exceeding $400 million. But when you look into the eyes of just one of the local folks who got one of those jobs or a business owner who sold a product because of that multi-million dollar project, that’s when it really hits home.

The 4th of July is great. Baseball is great. Toss in a couple of cold hot dogs and flat beer and you really have something. Still, nothing is as a great as sitting beside someone for a couple of innings and talking about how taking their family out to a ball game is just one of the many things they can do now thanks to the job they have and the long term stability that comes with working on major projects.

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Sometimes we hear, as an industry, we need to train, hire and retain local workers for the jobs that are being created in Ohio. That is true. Take a look for example at the over 70 programs vetted by the industry for our high school and college students. It is about giving someone the real world skills required for today’s oil and gas industry. It is not just having them sit through a two-week “watch your head” safety program.  Good workers take time to develop and place, and it is happening now and will continue to happen in the coming years.

So if you are looking for work or, just as important, if you are looking for workers, be patient. There have been 756 permits issued, 374 wells drilled and 100 more in some type of production. We are only on the 10th pitch of the first inning.

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