The claim was marginally true, but mainly because West Virginia’s workforce was unprepared for the sudden demand that the big rush of Marcellus shale jobs provided.
The people with the skills and the training to do the jobs the industry needed often came from Texas, Louisiana, and other states where shale gas drilling had already been active.
The state’s community and technical college system has responded to that workforce issue, and done so very well.
During legislative interim meetings recently, community and technical college system chancellor Jim Skidmore told legislators that all two dozen students who recently completed training certificates in programs related to the Marcellus shale industry got jobs and are making about $70,000 per year.
Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont and West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling offer certificates in programs such as petroleum technology, welding, and mechatronics that provide training and new skills to students looking for reliable, long-term, good-paying jobs. And the industry needs those kind of local people.
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