Friday, April 10, 2015

Education Opportunities Abound to Prepare Workers for Oil and Gas Jobs

A report released in 2014 by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, emphasized the importance of education to a local economy: "Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce. There is a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state's workforce and median wages in the state."

As published in ShaleMart magazine
The Stark Education Partnership collaborates with educators, businesses, and civic and community leaders to foster sustainable improvement in colleges and schools throughout the county. Furthermore, Stark County is well-positioned to remain competitive in the years ahead, with the undergraduate and graduate programs at Kent State University at Stark, Malone University, the University of Mount Union and Walsh University, as well as the education available in technology and the local building trades at Stark State College, one of Ohio's premier community and technical colleges.

As our educational institutions continue to adapt to the changing economy, more focus is being placed on training students for careers in the oil and gas industry. As an example of this trend, Stark State College opened a new oil and gas well site training center in Canton in 2014. Part of a satellite academic building downtown, the facility represents a direct partnership with the energy industry designed to better prepare skilled laborers for the workforce.

The R.G. Drage Career Technical Center in Massillon, which is a two-year joint vocational facility serving the public school districts in Stark County, has recognized the impact of the oil and gas industry by adapting the curriculum to promote increased employment opportunities and allow for continued training at the post-secondary level.

The construction trade unions that are a part of the East Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council also provide apprenticeship and training programs that are endorsed by the U.S. Department of Labor. These programs ensure that there is always a pool of highly skilled construction workers to serve the needs of oil and gas and other industries.

Career training is vital to the future of any region, and the Stark County Oil and Gas Partnership is proud to partner with these educational institutions and labor organizations to provide programs that will prepare our residents to qualify for the new job opportunities created by the oil and gas industry.

This article was originally submitted for publication in ShaleMart's print and online editions.

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