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District backs workforce development for oil and gas industry

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District backs workforce development for oil and gas industry


Photo Caption: Dr. George Ash, superintendent of Harrison Hills City Schools, gives a thumb’s up in support of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s call to prepare K-12 and college-level students for the workforce amid the surge of activity in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Ash attended the grand opening of MarkWest Energy Partners’ field office in Cadiz on March 13, where Gov. Kasich was the featured speaker.

CADIZ- Harrison Hills City Schools wants to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce when it comes to the growing oil and gas industry.

Superintendent Dr. George Ash shared his support when Ohio Gov. John Kasich made a stop in Cadiz during the grand opening of MarkWest Energy Partners’ new field office on March 13. The company and its subsidiary, MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Resources LLC, recently entered an option with the Village of Cadiz to acquire 207 acres at the Cadiz-Harrison County Industrial Park for a facility to handle fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids. The plant is part of MarkWest’s estimated $500 million investment in the area, and the project is expected to create 500 construction jobs and at least 60 full-time, permanent company positions when it begins initial operations in Cadiz around mid-2013, but more are anticipated in the future.

The governor addressed a crowd of local and company dignitaries and noted his interest in preparing pupils on all levels as future workers because the industry was picking up steam.

“Our K-12 educational system needs to start sharing with our children the kind of career opportunities that are going to be available in our great state,” Kasich said. “Secondly, our community colleges are going to be asked to step up and play a big role in the training of the people that [MarkWest President and CEO Frank Semple] is going to need.”

He commented that the local people should be capable of handling 21st Century, high-tech equipment and undertake all the tasks set forth by the oil and gas companies.

 Dr. Ash told Kasich and MarkWest President and CEO Frank Semple the district would offer its support in that endeavor. Actually, the district has already begun by increasing science, technology and math programs while the Advance Harrison organization wants to act upon its mission of promoting the county through improved education and training.

“We’ll definitely support anything you can do, and we will have our kids ready,” Dr. Ash told officials.

“I look forward to working with the companies so we can make sure the students are prepared,” Board President Deborah Kenny later commented. “That was always my intent, and this is a golden opportunity.”

Advance Harrison Chairman Paul Coffland said the group wants to cooperate with the industry to make sure students will be ready for all levels of the workforce.

“What we’re trying to do is integrate with the oil and gas industry to offer not only entry-level labor positions, but also to give options so students understand what type of education is necessary and the types of spin-off industries available,” he explained. “We want to explore all of these opportunities and introduce them to freshmen and up.”

More schooling through a community college or four-year academic institution might also help pupils get their foot in the door, not only in the oil and gas sector, but also in other careers. Coffland said the shale boon could lead to more indirect employment in fields such as welding or hospitality.

“We look forward to working with the industry to prepare students and staff,” he said. “Anything that can benefit the kids and allow them to return to the area after school will strengthen the county as a whole.”

Source: Harrison Hills School District Press Release

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on March 22, 2012, 7:05 am. Filed under Community, Kids & Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry