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Regional Center for Workforce Excellence

Fueling the Workforce in the Oil Region

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Community Challenge/Problem

In the Oil Region of Northwestern Pennsylvania, there is a need to facilitate and arrange educational and training programs for the growing Marcellus Shale industry. Studies show that the direct workforce needed to drill a single Marcellus Shale well includes 410 individuals working in nearly 150 different occupations. After a successful Marcellus Shale Showcase was presented in the Oil Region in October 2010, numerous contacts were made by Workforce Development personnel with the oil & gas representatives in the area.

Board Solution/Innovation

In response to a specific call received from Range Resources to arrange safety training in Northwest PA, Oil Region Business Service Representative Deb Lutz initiated a Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP) visit to the Franklin Plant of Miller Training/Sperian Fall Arrest Systems, Inc. in early December, 2010. Sperian specializes in the manufacture of personal protective equipment for men and women working in jobs with potential safety risks. They also feature a state of the art training facility that can simulate working on an oil derrick.

Outcomes & Results

Contacts made with oil & gas representatives like Sperian, along with established relationships with local businesses, have enabled a successful collaboration between the Oil Region Alliance, the Keystone Community Education Council, and the Oil Region CareerLink. As a result, these organizations plan to develop and co-host a forum that will showcase the educational opportunities and facilities devoted to the oil & gas industry in the northwest region. This is just the first such event being planned in response to industry needs in the Oil Region.

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