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The crude oil and natural gas industry in Ohio is looking for a new crop of skilled individuals eager to meet the industry’s future workforce needs. Many believe the industry is positioned for historic growth in light of a likely renewed national focus on energy independence and domestic energy production. The mainstreaming of new technologies allowing for the safe, efficient and economical extraction of energy resources will only aid this projected expansion.
However, nearly half of the nation’s current crude oil and natural gas workforce is expected to retire within the next seven years, according to the respected industry data and analytics organization, Drillinginfo. This makes a career in the crude oil and natural gas industry a smart choice for many students mapping out educational options, according to the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP).
“Ohio has seen record production in the areas of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids,” said OOGEEP Executive Director Rhonda Reda. “With every record milestone, we see increasing feedstock material that will go to new and existing processing plants, refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities. These materials and facilities will play a major role in bringing back good paying jobs to eastern and southeastern Ohio.”
To connect students with these opportunities, OOGEEP offers educational scholarships for qualified applicants. Students must be Ohio residents or planning to attend an accredited Ohio college, technical or trade school. Scholarship application details are available at oogeep.org.
OOGEEP is currently working with over 70 Ohio colleges, junior colleges, and career and technical schools that offer training for the 75 different careers serving the crude oil and natural gas industry. The schools help ensure students receive either fundamental educational training or highly technical scientific training for jobs that can be directly or indirectly related to the industry.
These educational opportunities include a variety of programs from welding to equipment operators, mechanical technicians to construction coordinators as well as degrees in geology, engineering and chemistry.
“The exciting thing about the crude oil and natural gas industry is the diversity of opportunities for jobs seekers,” said Reda. “There is something for everyone, from highly technical jobs requiring advanced degrees to skilled trades opportunities, young people looking at new careers have 75 different professions to choose from.”
Many of these positions require hands on work and technical understanding. As a result, the curriculums and programs developed by higher education and training institutions, with input from the industry, include skill and competency development as well as relevant testing.
“The next phase of major activity in the crude oil and natural gas industry will revolve around getting the product to market in the safest and most efficient manner possible,” said OOGEEP Safety and Workforce Director Charlie Dixon. “The careers involved in transporting these products are the backbone of the crude oil and natural gas industry, whether it is moving a drilling rig, pipe and other supplies or moving crude oil and natural gas liquids for refining or processing.”
Reda encourages students and other jobs seekers to visit OOGEEP’s website at oogeep.org for more information on available career opportunities as well as the training and educational requirements for the industry.