Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and many of our industry partners in the Marcellus shale were excited to work with the Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) to bring back the Energy & Oilfield Career Summer Experience. The five-day program had to be canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but 11 students from four counties and seven school districts were introduced to more company representatives and aspects of the industry this year than ever before.
Golder Associates’ Scott McKinney and I did our best to prepare participants for the week with a broad introduction to the oil and gas business and Cabot’s role in the Marcellus shale. It was a nice day, so we were able to set up the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) under a pavilion for some hands-on lessons and activities. A safety moment, as it pertained to that day’s activities or the general working environment, was part of every morning’s lesson plan.
From there, we introduced the students, who ranged from high school sophomores to a soon-to-be college freshman pursuing a degree in geology, to leaders and laborers from all corners of the shale play. Topics ranged from surveying, soil conductivity, shale geology, and engineering to soil density, valves, drone use, welding and environmental stewardship.
Additionally, the students toured a well pad and a water reclamation site, tested their skills in a truck driving simulator, got a virtual tour of a compressor station, and were certified in CPR by Jerry Washo of Resource Environmental Management.
A highlight of the week was a tour by the students of the new Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in Tunkhannock, which opened on August 5, 2021. The training center outgrew its original location in New Milford with significant financial support from Cabot, Williams and SWN. Program director Sue Gumble showed the students the spacious new classrooms and labs. She also explained the scope of the two-year program that has already led more than 300 young adults directly into family-sustaining jobs in the gas industry.
One of those students was 2020 graduate Collin Scott, whose father’s work in the industry sparked an interest in him. Collin had no idea what he wanted to do in the industry, but he so impressed us during his internship with Cabot that we hired him a day after graduation. Now, he’s doing a great job as a well tender. “Being in the field is the best way to learn,” he told the Oilfield Experience participants.
By the end of the week, the students were telling NTIEC’s Deb Tierney that the Energy & Oilfield Career Summer Experience opened their eyes to many different jobs in the industry. It made them realize that they do not have to leave the area to find a good, steady career.
We want to thank Deb for everything she did to make the week flow so smoothly, Dr. Alice Davis and Dr. Ken Cuomo for making the Elk Lake School campus available to us, CDL Training Center instructors Dale Fisher and Brian Eso for accommodating us while also conducting CDL classes, and all of the industry representatives who gave of their time to teach these students about their jobs.