Williamsport, PA – Local residents in Williamsport, Pa. joined area leaders and business owners today for a community discussion focused on natural gas training programs and the impact of workforce development in the region, as well as the industry’s commitment to safe and responsible development of the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) jointly hosted the public event held at the Sooner Pipe headquarters in Williamsport.
State Sen.Gene Yaw, Lycoming County Commissioner Jeff Wheeland, and Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Vince Matteo participated in a panel discussion, which offered insight into the economic value the natural gas community brings to the Appalachian region. Other panel members included Larry Michael, executive director of workforce and continuing education at Pennsylvania College of Technology and member of the development team of the comprehensive online recruiting tool ShaleNET, and Mary Wolf, a spokeswoman for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a natural gas producer operating in the area.
The Marcellus Shale, one of the largest sources of natural gas in the United States, brought the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania, which has led to a flurry of investment in the region and created economic and job opportunities across the state. The event focused on economic development opportunities for local business, educational programs to build the local workforce, and the industry’s commitment to operating in the interest of the community through safe and responsible development.
“The natural gas community has brought a tremendous boost to our region in economic benefit and employment,” said Matteo. “Pennsylvania has been one of the hardest hit states economically in recent years. The natural gas industry has helped change that by bringing thousands of well-paying jobs to the region, and will continue to bring jobs to our area in the future. We need to start training Pennsylvania now for the natural gas jobs to come.”
Wolf discussed the industry’s commitment to safe and responsible development and to the communities where they operate. As part of this commitment, companies are working alongside community organizations and representatives to ensure environmental safety, maximize job creation and bring an economic boost to the region.
“To be the catalyst for economic development and job creation, chambers of commerce, elected officials, trade associations, educators and natural gas companies must work together to communicate what is needed and valued,” said Wolf. “By accomplishing this, this next generation can be prepared to lead Pennsylvania’s economic recovery and earn our country’s energy independence.”
This community discussion was the first of three that will be held in Pennsylvania this summer. For more information on this event, and natural gas development opportunities in the state, please visit www.MarcellusCoalition.org and www.FriendsOfNaturalGasPA.com