Recent reports show that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is driving energy sector job growth and creating opportunities that offer some of the highest wages of any sector. This incredible growth requires a well-trained workforce to fill the vast array of diverse positions – a challenge that is being met head on in Ohio with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program’s new career guide.
There are 2.7 million jobs around the country within the oil and gas with another 7.5 million jobs supported by the industry in 2015, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The shale renaissance has also led to significant job growth in the Appalachian Basin, as OOGEEP Executive Director Rhonda Reda explained:
“In 2011, our industry employed around 14,000 Ohioans, and today that number has dramatically increased to nearly 200,000, thanks to the ongoing development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. As a result, workforce development remains a priority for our industry.”
OOGEEP is a non-profit education and outreach program focused on training and career development. The organization’s new career guide includes a compilation of more than 75 oil and gas-related career opportunities complete with job descriptions, minimum requirements and available educational and training programs in the region. For example, their information guide to becoming a welder – one of the most in-demand jobs in the industry – includes a list of over 50 different opportunities for education and training, including apprenticeships and high school student programs designed around specialized instruction.
For the past several years, OOGEEP has worked hand-in-hand with more than 90 Ohio colleges, universities, career centers and technical schools to help develop curriculum that is better aligned with the needs of industry jobs.
The close relationships OOGEEP forged with the various programs and instructors – in concert with industry experts and their guidance on future job needs – allowed the organization to craft a more in-depth guide than anything previously available.
Bright Future for “Fastest Growing Industry.”
Oil and natural gas has become “the fastest growing industry in the Ohio Valley,” lifting up communities across the Appalachian Basin that were struggling with high unemployment and low wages long before the recession began.
Today, there seems to be no sign of slowing down. With an aging oilfield workforce, and the Buckeye State now the fifth largest state in terms of proven natural gas reserves , Ohio’s future energy leaders are poised for success in well-paying careers in the energy industry. In light of this, the OOGEEP career program is coming online at just the right time, and will serve as an essential resource for connecting prospective workers with potential employers.
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