ShaleNET holds first floorhand classes in McKean and Indiana County
In December and January, ShaleNET offered its first floorhand classes at Seneca Highlands Career and Technical Center in McKean County and the Indiana County Community College Center (WCCC). This 120-hour intensive program certifies and prepares students to work on natural gas and oil rigs at the entry level floor-hand position, and provides a practical training environment that helps students understand the mental and physical demands of gas industry production work. This training differs from roustabout training by focusing on rig components and electrical components, basic well control, and less on heavy equipment operation. The floorhand training is the second of five courses developed by ShaleNET; the remaining three will be rolled out to our certified training providers later this spring.
Over thirty students graduated from these classes. Interviews were conducted by our industry partners Falcon Drilling, Precision Drilling and Universal Well Services, with several graduates receiving job offers to begin work on drilling rigs in February. ShaleNET wishes to thank the Northcentral WIB and their PA CareerLinks for promoting career opportunities in the natural gas industry by conducting candidate assessments and Consol Energy and Falcon Drilling for allowing the Indiana-based students to visit two active drilling rigs – a learning experience unmatched in the classroom!
Butler County Community College begins its first ShaleNET roustabout course
Butler County Community College (BC3), a new ShaleNET certified training provider, began its first roustabout course in February. Sixteen students from Mercer, Lawrence, Allegheny, Butler and Indiana Counties, along with the Pennsylvania National Guard used the talent match system on ShaleNet.org to become familiar with the industry and were directed to their local Career Link for assessments in order to be selected for the course. This three-week course includes a natural gas industry overview, metering and pressures, heavy equipment operation, and certification in various OSHA safety courses along with CPR/First Aid and Safeland. BC3 is currently working with Rex Energy, Williams Companies and XTO to help place students in the natural gas industry.
ShaleNET Holds First Train-the-Trainer
The first Train-the-Trainer session for ShaleNET certified training providers was held December 14 – 16, 2011 at Westmoreland County Community College. Over twenty instructors and administrators attended representing twelve institutions. The trainer, Robert Watkins, is an instructor at the Marcellus Shale Education Training Center with over 30 years experience in the petroleum industry, including curriculum development and instruction. Incorporating his hands-on experience into the curriculum, he assisted the prospective instructors with the course material, its direct application in the field and why safety is critical across all aspects of the industry.
During these three days, participants were introduced to training modules on well pad construction, pressures and forces, spill prevention and reporting, well control, and parts identification. Attendees were also directed to resources to further develop their understanding of the industry and its operations. A second train-the-trainer session is anticipated in March 2012 for instructors and administrators from ShaleNET certified providers that have been subsequently approved or for those that attended the first session and need a refresher.
Three additional ShaleNET training providers selected
Three additional training providers have been awarded ShaleNET's certified training provider status. The following schools were approved in January:
- Greater Johnstown Career and Technical Center (Cambria County, PA)
- Harrisburg Area Community College (Dauphin County, PA)
- Stanley Technical Institute, Human Resources Development Foundation (Harrison County, WV)
These institutions join Westmoreland County Community College, Pennsylvania College of Technology and nine other institutions in the delivery of ShaleNET training.
Local TV program, Our Region's Business, highlights ShaleNET
Byron Kohut, Western Hub Director, was a featured guest on Our Region's Business, a local Sunday morning TV program, that aired on WPXI December 11th 2011. The segment on ShaleNET also featured Col. Grey Berrier II, deputy commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as well as Gary Slagel, Senior Advisor for Environmental Affairs at CONSOL Energy Inc. During this program, Mr. Slagel discussed his company's future hiring plans, noting that CONSOL Energy expects to hire 500-750 new employees in their natural gas operations over the next 5 years.
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Natural Gas and Oil Technology Certificate Program will commence in March at WCCC
WCCC developed a Natural Gas and Oil Technology Certificate Program with the assistance of a Department of Labor grant awarded to Pennsylvania's fourteen community colleges. Building from the work ShaleNET has begun in non-credit education, the Natural Gas and Oil Technology certificate is a for-credit program that offers education and training directly related to the technical nature of employment in the natural gas industry, and allows students to earn credits toward further education. Students may complete the 19-credit program in two semesters or more through part-time study. The program combines classroom instruction, lab activities and field experience developed closely with its industry partners. Graduates of this program will be qualified for positions such as electronics installer, measurement and regulation technician, field safety representative, crew member for various operations including hydraulic fracturing, drilling and service, and compressor operator and well testing technician.
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