Appalachian Basin

Trucking Job Fair Shows Growing Importance of Shale in Ohio

This week, Oilfield Trucking Solutions, an affiliate of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, held a job fair in New Philadelphia in hopes of finding more than 20 qualified workers to drive water trucks in Canton and Wheeling.  As many have heard around the Buckeye State, truck drivers are in high demand, and a large part of the 38,000 jobs shale development created in the state last year were in the trucking industry.

Oilfield Trucking Solutions attracted more than 90 applicants to the job fair, meaning more than four applicants showed up for each job available. Indeed, with high unemployment rates throughout the country, many are looking for well-paying jobs, and work connected to the oil and gas industry certainly fits the bill.

Since we all recognize the need to connect the best-qualified workers with available jobs, organizations like the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) are partnering with training centers, universities, and technical schools to help train a workforce for the industry.

Jobs in the trucking industry specifically have a variety of requirements, including commercial driving experience, a Class A license, and the ability to pass background checks and road tests. Finding applicants that can check all those boxes can sometimes be difficult, which is another reason why OOGEEP has committed to helping train the next generation of Ohio’s workforce.

As more jobs become available throughout the industry, whether direct or indirect supply chain jobs, Ohioans need to be prepared to work in a safe and highly regulated industry.  Although we’re still in the early stages of Ohio’s shale development, companies like Chesapeake and their affiliates have already hired thousands of Ohioans.  Chesapeake alone has hired more than 550 people since the company came here in 2010.  The company has paid more than $34 million in wages and spent around $3.3 billion on capital investment.

As companies continue to invest in Ohio’s future, we’ll see more Ohioans getting the jobs they need — and a continued revitalization of Ohio’s economy. The recent job fair is but a snapshot in the broader progress being made, and that’s certainly good news for our state.

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