There is no shortage of governor, senatorial and congressional candidates for Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary election. As the date grows closer, we are excited to see such an interest among the contenders in how natural gas production is shaping the lives of northeastern Pennsylvanians, as well as our efforts to meet workforce demands by expanding and promoting trades education.

On April 18, gubernatorial candidate Dave White caught up with us in Susquehanna County, where we were welcomed to the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center by executive director Dr. Alice Davis. Dave was quick to point out that he himself was a graduate of a technical school who did not attend a traditional college.

His certification in HVAC installation and service and as a union pipefitter led to him starting DWD Mechanical Contractor. Inc. – his own HVAC company – in 2005. It has grown to employ more than 80 people in southeastern Pennsylvania.

At SCCTC, Dave got to see the labs and classrooms supporting the welding, carpentry and cabinetry, automotive collision repair, vehicle maintenance and repair technology, and nursing programs. Dave was impressed at how Coterra and other companies in our industry work with local agencies like the Northern Tier Industrial Education Consortium and the Commonwealth Charitable Trust to cover much of the costs associated with the programs for students through scholarships and Education Improvement Tax Credits.

“The Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center is excited to share and inform others on the importance of career and technical education,” Alice said afterwards. “The skills learned at career and technology centers are in high demand and critical to the future. I am pleased to showcase our students and school to anyone looking for more information, and we welcome all supporters of trades education.”

The SCCTC is situated on the Elk Lake School District campus, though it serves seven school districts in two counties. After his tour, Dave walked over to Elk Lake High School where the Penn State Cooperative Extension was hosting their annual Farm and Home Day. In addition to meeting a lot of local residents whose support he sought for his campaign, he even bought a peach pie at an auction there that raises funds for youths in the local 4-H and Dairy Promotion programs.

During his visit, Dave also had the opportunity to visit one of Coterra’s active gas pads and a nearby compressor plant. This experience allowed Dave to get an up-close view of our Marcellus Shale operations to learn how our gas is produced.