CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All two dozen students who recently completed two-year training certificates for jobs in the Marcellus shale industry got jobs and they are making about $70,000 a year according to state Community and Technical College Chancellor Jim Skidmore.

Skidmore updated state lawmakers Tuesday on the program that is offered at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont and West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling. He said there’s room for growth at both campuses.

“We could have a total of 100 students at each,” he said. Recruitment efforts are underway.

Chancellor Skidmore said students aren’t earning engineering degrees but certificates where they can work as technicians at the many drill sites in West Virginia. He said there will be those types of jobs in the industry for the foreseeable future.

“There are more and more companies moving in, the drilling keeps increasing. So we don’t expect that demand to go down over the next 10 to 15 years,” the chancellor said.

The programs do have several needs. Currently there’s an indoor drill site simulator and one outdoor, somewhat older, type drill site classroom. Skidmore said the programs need three simulators.

“To offer a really, high-quality, state-of-the-art program and with this industry the potential it has we should do that, we need the outdoor simulator. Will we ever get 200 students without it? I don’t know,” Chancellor Skidmore said.

The program is seeking help with equipment from drilling companies. State Sen. Sam Cann, D-Harrison, said if after two-years of training someone can make $70,000 a year while staying in West Virginia the state should do all it can to make the training programs the best they can be.

“Maybe we need to quit dragging our feet and looking for handouts and get it done,” Cann said during Tuesday’s committee meeting.

Chancellor Skidmore also told lawmakers he’s seen no evidence that the companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale in the Mountain State will not hire West Virginians. He’s said he has met with some of the companies.

“I didn’t hear anybody saying they didn’t need these folks and they would not hire West Virginians. I think they will because when they get the skills we give them they will hire West Virginians,” he said.

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Comments

  • Joey Gandee

    What's the cost of the schooling? Any possible way a person with bills could do it? I'm really wanting to get into the oil/gas industry

  • marcellus shale jobs

    Great news and alot of money for high school graduates

  • Rick55

    It's unbelievable how we can turn this very positive story into a bitch session. When we make efforts to re-train people in dying industries into productive workers in up-and-coming industries, all we can do is moan about the EPA or liberals or how you should be making $100,000 in jobs that require nothing more than an undergrad degree or how once Obama has destroyed coal he will come after gas, or just bitch and whine about unemployment. Sad.

  • Rick55

    It's unbelievable how we can turn this very positive story into a bitch session. When we make efforts to re-train people in dying industries into productive workers in up-and-coming industries, all we can do is moan about the EPA or liberals or how you should be making $100,000 in jobs that require nothing more than an undergrad degree or how once Obama has destroyed coal he will come after gas, or just bitch and whine about unemployment.

  • the flying dutchman

    in an unrelated news story, a giant sinkhole swallowed harrison county west virginia today. video at 11:00.

  • ThatGuyOverThere

    Though, I didn't get any two year certificates from the tech college, I am a shining example of the Marcellus Shale boom in the great Mountain State. I do have 3 college degrees, but I work a job that does not require a college degree...I make 120,000 - 140,000 depending on how good the bonus is any given year, and I rarely work any overtime. I am very fortunate, but the jobs are here. If you are drug free, have a semi-clean record, and are willing to work hard and learn in a fast paced environment, you can go as far as you want within this industry.

    • Mr.Gas

      Gas is West Virginia!
      Great news for the state.
      Clean abundant source of energy.

  • David

    100 students ?

    Hell let's build a whole new school for that!

    • Ed

      Really?? Can u name another 2 year program that gets you a job making 50K+? Actually u can't hardly find a descent job w/ a 4 year degree in WV. Yeah let's not support anything that has good jobs and produces energy. How many ppl are making a living in WV putting up windmills? I think wind turbines are cool. I've talked w/ many folks working on the Allegeny Front.... Funny thing they're not from WV!

  • RHytonen

    Perhaps, now that more of the facts are coming out, not that many intelligent West Virginians want to be responsible for their neighbors and family getting cancer down the line.

    • ThatGuyOverThere

      Why don't you produce some academic studies to back up your claim of cancer from our natural gas industry. I would like to see them. We are all waiting on you to produce them.

    • Thecrow2123

      Ok, so since every form of energy is bad in some way, or are at least protested to be, here's the only answer.

      Everybody who is against energy production, especially those against the very plentiful and cheap carbon based energy sources go flip the main breakers to your house and turn off your gas outside.

      Good, now your off the grid with a clear conscience and setting a good example for your beliefs.

      To everyone else, at last, no more Eco idiots, let's flip on all the lights and run the AC till it freezes up in celebration

      • Jeff

        I'm shocked you left out the genius idea of WV shutting off DC's power. It would have fit right in your post.

        • Thecrow2123

          It wouldn't have worked Jeff. Their diesel and natural gas generators would just kick on and business as usual.

    • Marion

      The more I read these post at times I realize there are more ignorant individuals out there than I ever imagined !

    • Marion

      What HELL are you talking about ?!

      • Jeff

        http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/25/justice/texas-family-wins-fracking-lawsuit/

        Uh here's one example of what he's taking about. Don't worry, there's plenty more sealed up

        • The bookman

          And when their done with coal, they'll come for natural gas. Even though the Obama Administration touts NG as our future fuel, as coal falls by the wayside, the next fossil fuel in the crossfire is NG. Look at any environmental site for the marching orders. Hytonen's rants surround groundwater contamination, and this case was based on emissions from the numerous wells located around their ranch. Two different issues. Both are valid concerns, but let's keep some sanity please.

          • Thecrow2123

            Jeff,
            Cry me a puddle. Such is the business model of corporate America. Such is the American dream. Such are the rules and laws made by those you elected.

            You work hard, invest, save and maybe, if your lucky, you strike it rich. The rest of us work for those who did. Or at least did till the bleeding heart liberals and hypocrite minority somehow got their way in deciding what's good for everyone else. Now, we have no jobs, no money, high taxes, high energy costs, high food costs, went from having the best medical services in the world to now being rated the worst and those of us who still are blessed enough to have a decent job are paying for all of this for the 2/3rds of this country who now are unemployed and have little or no hope of that changing any time soon.

            I think it all worked better, historically much better before all this redistribution of wealth crap. I certainly had it better anyway. Democracy and the free enterprise system is the best system that was ever created and our country's history is proof of it. We were the most powerfull and prosperous country in history and would be still had it been left alone.

            Now were screwed unless our elected leaders finally figure out they can back up the dollar with the vast oil reserves we have, drill baby drill and use it to pay off our debts and put an end to everyone trying to re-write our constitution and business models to something they think is more fair.

            This is a sad time in our country's history and it should be one of our most prosperous.

          • The bookman

            Jeff,

            Are you off the grid yet, or are you still leading the hypocritical life?

          • Jeff

            The top oil and gas companies made over $100billion in profits last year including some generous subsidies courtesy of me and you. They surely don't need you slobbering their corporate personhood.

        • The bookman

          And when their done with coal, they'll come for natural gas. Even though the Obama Administration touts NG as our future fuel, as coal falls by the wayside, the next fossil fuel in the crossfire is NG. Look at any environmental site for the marching orders. Hytonin's rants surround groundwater contamination, and this case was based on emissions from the numerous wells located around their ranch. Two different issues. Both are valid concerns, but let's keep some sanity please.

    • oilfieldworker

      That comment has to be the stupidest and most ignorant thing I've heard

      • The bookman

        You've obviously not read much of the comments here. That one isn't even in Rodney's top ten posts. And if stupid is what you like, I suggest anything with Gary Karsten attached to it.