Professor Byron Kohut is assisting local community members by heading up a natural gas job training course. The training course, being held at Westmoreland County Community College, prepares residents in Pennsylvania and neighboring states to compete for the vast amounts of jobs available in the natural gas industry.
The program is being referred to as ShaleNET and hopes to provide the resources to assist in narrowing the demand gap. It will also improve pre-employment training as well as identify candidates who are compatible for the natural gas industry.
Approximately 400 people are needed to drill a single well – and almost half of those jobs do not require a college degree. Heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, and general labor workers are being sought out for these industry specific jobs.
“If they are not physically capable of working outside, in bad weather, dangerous conditions, I scare them out of drilling,” said Kohut. Those individuals with a construction background have a great opportunity to enter into the program and have success in finding employment.
The ShaleNET program, which has graduated 250 students, along with new industry-community partnerships, is helping to increase the rate of local hires. About 180 students have been hired by 56 companies. The program has also helped about 1,000 people to find jobs in the shale industry through its website or through various partnership it has with federal job-placement agencies.
To learn more about ShaleNET, be sure to visit the website.