Webinar to focus on shale gas industry's workforce

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A Web-based seminar presented by Penn State Extension's Marcellus Education Team will look at the shale gas industry's workforce and training.

"Industry Workforce and Training," begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 17. The one-hour webinar will feature James Martini, an economist with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, John Strittmatter, Regional Hub director, and Daniel Mendell, instructor, both with the Pennsylvania College of Technology/ShaleNET.

They will discuss workforce trends and training needs of the shale-gas industry. 

Economic activity in the Marcellus Shale footprint has seen a change over the past decade as shale development has taken off, according to Martini. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry works to track this activity and releases monthly Marcellus Shale Fast Facts. 

"In the webinar, we'll cover the needs for workforce training now that the shale-gas industry has entered the picture, and we'll explore the industry’s trends, employment figures and wages, as well as those of ancillary services," he said.

"Understanding these data allows informed decisions to be made on the allocation of limited training dollars to maximize impacts to Pennsylvania’s economy."

As the shale-gas industry continues to grow in the Marcellus and diversify from upstream to midstream to downstream operations, and as advancements in technology continue to occur, workers must be trained to handle the ever-changing nature of the industry, Strittmatter pointed out. 

"We'll look at the skill sets employers need, and how these needs will change over time," he said. "Where are new workers being found, and how are they being trained? We will answer these questions and more."

Finding and developing a skilled workforce remains a critical issue for natural gas and oil employers, Strittmatter noted, adding that the search affects all aspects of business from safety to profitability. 

"When they find the right people, all stand to benefit -- the employer, the community and the individual," he explained. "We will share our experiences from working in this industry and how those experiences can apply to offering successful training programs for oil and natural gas employers."

Penn State Extension's Marcellus Education Team provides at least monthly webinars on a variety of topics. Upcoming webinars include the following:

-- Aug. 21: "Natural Gas Processing and Effects on Royalty Income Streams," Steven Karabin, president and CEO, the Rhino Group.

-- Sept 18: Topic to be announced.

-- Oct. 16: "The Bakken Part 1: History and Challenges of Current Oil and Gas Development," Vision West ND.

-- Nov 20: "The Bakken Part 2: Responding to the Challenges and Planning for the Future," Vision West ND.

The webinars are free, but participants must register on the events page of the Penn State Extension Natural Gas website. The site also offers information about future webinars. Registrants must provide an email address to receive the link to the upcoming webinar.

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural-gas website, covering a variety of topics such as natural gas production and waste figures; oil and gas best practices; Act 13 (Pennsylvania's oil and gas law); the volume of gas in shale formations; seismic testing; air pollution from gas development; water use and quality; natural gas liquids; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; gas pipeline trends and right-of-way issues; legal issues surrounding gas development; the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland; royalty calculations and decline curves; and reclamation of drill cuttings.

For more information, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at cal24@psu.edu.

Contacts: 
Last Updated July 11, 2014