Quick Report on WVIA’s telecast in Williamsport
I went to a GREAT event last night at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport! It was a live WVIA show, BoomTown Williamsport, as part of their State of Pennsylvania series they hold Thursdays at 7. Present were a panel of local individuals including Jason Fink, executive vice president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce; Seth Alberts, CEO of Alberts Spray Solutions, a subsidiary of Ralph S. Alberts Company; Larry Allison, Jr., executive secretary and part-owner of Allison Crane &Rigging; and Keith S. Kuzio, president and CEO of the Larson Design Group.
The panel spoke to and answered questions about the jobs that have come into the area as a result of responsible development, how existing companies have evolved to accommodate and assist the natural gas industry, and what their projections are for the future of the workforce in Lycoming County. Questions were posed from both the audience and viewers who called in. Fink said that unemployment figures in the county have dropped from 10 percent last year to 7 percent this year and that the average hourly wage has increased substantially. Is it any wonder why local labor groups support the development of these resources?
It’s obviously difficult to tell for sure, but there seemed to be a lot more pro-Marcellus people in the audience than folks opposed to it. One group that was easy to pick out on the anti’s side was the Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA), a Williamsport-based group that, despite its name, is about as thoroughly anti-development as it gets. Those folks accounted for a decent portion of the audience, but the panel did an amazing job of fielding their questions — many of which had nothing to do with the topics being discussed.Please join EID Marcellus next Thursday night in Pittston at the WVIA studio as another panel discusses the impact of the Marcellus on communities and families. The RDA will likely be there (where else would they be?) and we should be too. Let us know you are going and we can reserve a seat for you, or visit wvia.org to reserve your own free ticket, as seating is limited to 100. Even if you can’t physically be there, you can watch the program next week and call in your questions or comments live. If we are going to educate the people of the Northeast Marcellus region, we have to make sure our voice is heard!
Now, please grab a bag of popcorn and watch the hour long show from last night, courtesy of WVIA. It will be well worth your time!