2007-01-13 / Front Page

Jobs coming in local oil, gas fields

Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander, left, discusses the Oil and Gas Industry Partnership and his school's resurrected petroleum technology program with Bob Esch, center, a vice president at American Refining Group, and Fred Fesenmyer, president and CEO of Minard Run Oil Company. Pitt-Bradford President Dr. Livingston Alexander, left, discusses the Oil and Gas Industry Partnership and his school's resurrected petroleum technology program with Bob Esch, center, a vice president at American Refining Group, and Fred Fesenmyer, president and CEO of Minard Run Oil Company. Jobs are opening up in Pennsylvania's oil and gas extraction industry throughout Potter, Cameron and several other northcentral counties, creating the need for trained employees.

Among the members of a new Oil and Gas Industry Partnership is the Northcentral Workforce Investment Board, serving the counties of Cameron, Potter, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean.

A $150,000 state grant has kickstarted the partnership to take advantage of the job-creating potential. According to the Pa. Oil and Gas Assn., producers, drillers and well service companies will create more than 1,000 new jobs in the region over the next four years. Many are entry level positions with drilling contractors and well service companies.

The partnership awarded $16,000 to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to support its associate degree program in petroleum technology. The funding will help employ adjunct faculty who are experts in their field. The curriculum was discontinued at Pitt- Bradford in the late 1980s due to a decline in the industry.

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