Gas companies help school train future generations of workers

Jeannine McKnight

Natural gas is making a difference for countless Pennsylvania residents. A mere 30 years ago, it seemed unfathomable for many of them to think they could have a high-paying, family-sustaining career in their home counties.

The Marcellus Shale bonanza has changed all that. Now, younger generations have access to opportunities their elders never did. The natural gas industry has made these chances possible by supporting education and job training, demonstrating a commitment to the communities in which it operates.

At the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas (LCSPNG), we wouldn’t be able to provide natural gas job education and training without the generosity of Cabot Oil & Gas. The company recently fulfilled a $2.5 million endowment to our school, allowing us to train future natural gas workers.

Cabot isn’t the only company to have generously donated money, resources or time to LCSPNG. Williams, DTE Energy, Southwestern Energy and Ariel Corp. also have helped us to prepare future employees at the heart of the development of Marcellus and Utica Shale.

For our students, many of whom are nontraditional, the opportunities these companies have provided are nothing short of life-changing. Many of our students come from careers in which positions were seasonal. Upon graduation, they will be able to have a family-sustaining career in a growing industry. They are greatly appreciative of the opportunities the natural gas industry affords them.

Natural gas in Pennsylvania is here to stay, thanks to the abundant Marcellus supply. Because of this, the training we and other schools are providing will be here for decades to come.

Jeannine McKnight is director of the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 

Jeannine McKnight

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