The Eagle Ford Shale play, which encompasses 14 Texas counties, is one of the largest oil and gas developments in the world. In 2012, almost 100,000 jobs were supported by oil and gas development, and this number is expected to more than double within 10 years, said R.T. Dukes, managing director, EagleFordShale.com.
The most in-demand jobs in the industry are for skilled labor or trades, and this demand is not just around Eagle Ford. This demand is also being seen in Houston and across Texas.
“We are seeing skilled labor demands for technicians, gas measurement, welders, pipefitters, oilfield services, hydraulic machinery operators, and other service workers. However, machine shops, diesel repair shops, tire shops, truck sales, all infrastructure companies, and any company associated with the industry is seeing a major spike in demand for jobs. In offices, there is a need for clerical and manpower in Houston, San Antonio, Victoria, Dallas, Midland, and the small towns surrounding the Eagle Ford Shale play,” said Kenny DuBose, president, EagleFordShale.com.
To help solve the problems of skilled labor shortages, community colleges are expanding their programs, opening campuses, and there is talk of opening charter schools to train students in the oil and gas industry, especially since “this oil and gas boom is expected to last 30-40 years or longer – we do not see an end in sight,” DuBose said.
One of the ways many of the energy companies are solving this challenge of lack of skilled labor is by looking at transferable skills.
“For example, school bus drivers are being invited to become truck drivers, which is one of the most in-demand jobs. Other professions outside of the oil and gas industry are also being reviewed for transferrable skills, and companies are offering on-the job training,” DuBose said.
FMC Technologies, a global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry, is one the thousands of companies involved with the shale play, hiring individuals with transferable skills for the energy industry.
“We look at opportunities to grow individual’s competencies for the roles they take and develop them throughout the way. Every new employee is enrolled in an intensive training program with an emphasis on planning and developing that employee to his or her full potential.
“Each new employee is assigned to a mentor to get an induction plan that lasts throughout the 90-day training program,” said Brooke Herrington, HR staffing specialist, Subsea WR, FMC Technologies, Houston.
Herrington said the mentor and their manager guide them through the initial training process, answer questions, and give them insight into the job.
The goal is for them to get a great new start into the company, to understand their role, FMC’s processes and tools, and to become an active/contributing member to the organization as soon as possible.
“In addition to our 90-day training program, we offer training through FMC University. Through FMC University, employees are offered resources for technical skills training, professional development and more through its four areas of study: Business Operations, HSE-Q, Leadership and Technology,” Herrington said.
FMC is recruiting machinists, welders, assemblers, electro-hydraulic technicians, offshore technicians, quality technicians and maintenance technicians.