Campus Partner in Marcellus Shale Education Gets New Name
A Penn State DuBois partner in education and training, The Marcellus Shale Education Training Center (MSETC) at the Pennsylvania College of Technology is officially changing its name to ShaleTEC. TEC is meant to stand for Training and Education Center, and the new name is thought to be more inclusive of the current and future industry expansion into other shale and tight sand formations beyond Marcellus Shale.
Located inside Penn College’s Center for Business & Workforce Development, ShaleTEC provides a centralized location for industry, students and the public to obtain information regarding shale and tight sand workforce-development initiatives. It features participation from Penn College and Penn State Extension, which has provided workforce development analysis, economic needs assessment and training services since 2008. Since its inception, ShaleTEC, formerly MSETC, has also trained more than 8,500 people in natural gas related courses. These courses have benefited employees currently working in the oil and natural gas industry as well as individuals seeking a career change including the unemployed.
Penn State DuBois partnered with ShaleTEC last year, in efforts to bring their quality training programs to DuBois and the surrounding area. Interim Director of Continuing Education at Penn State DuBois John Blasdell said, "As an affiliate of ShaleTEC, Penn State DuBois acquires expanded curriculum and instructional capability needed to train and educate existing employees of gas companies, and those who want to enter the natural gas industry." He explained that students who enroll for Marcellus Shale training programs at Penn State DuBois will have access to a wide range of resources offered at ShaleTEC, which addresses a multitude of training and educational needs of the natural gas industry.
The ShaleTEC name will extend the reach of the initial MSETC throughout the entire Appalachian Basin including Ohio, West Virginia, New York and other emerging plays throughout the United States. Penn College also has several affiliate agreements with other Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth with plans to enter into additional agreements with training providers in Ohio and New York. Through these affiliates, ShaleTEC is able to offer its comprehensive list of courses across a broader geographical area to better serve the oil and natural gas training needs of local employers and residents. Customized courses can also be developed to meet the specific training needs of an employer and offered on-site if preferred.
"This continues Penn College’s commitment to support the various workforce-development needs of the natural gas industry," said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. "As shale activity and the natural gas industry continue to expand and evolve in the Appalachian Basin, Penn College and its strategic partners are committed to providing the infrastructure and support services required to serve the area’s workforce needs."
According to Tracy Brundage, Assistant Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development at Penn College, "The rebranding of the Center is critical to our outreach efforts in the Appalachian Basin and beyond. Our new name allows us to better market our services and programs to stakeholders beyond the Marcellus play. The Center provides a centralized point of contact for natural gas workforce-development initiatives and information. We have many program offerings, as well as funding, to offset the workforce-training costs associated with training industry personnel and individuals pursuing a career with this exciting new industry."
"In addition to the Marcellus, at least five other shale zones are actively being explored in Pennsylvania today," said Thomas B. Murphy, co-director of the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research at Penn State. "The value of workforce research and training programs available through the Shale Training and Education Center reach well beyond the Marcellus. Having a one-stop location for all shale and tight sand workforce needs is certainly key to providing a skilled workforce and meeting local employment demand."
For more information on ShaleTEC, workforce and economic analysis on the oil and natural gas industry and available courses, visit www.ShaleTEC.org or call 570-327-4775.