Penn College was among participants in Saturday’s PA Energy Games at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds. The event featured educational exhibits, a heavy equipment rodeo, panel discussions and musical performances. The college was well-represented at Hughesville, with three student teams enrolled in heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis competing in a heavy equipment rodeo with industry representatives. In addition, David C. Pistner, director of energy initiatives for the college’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education, moderated a question-and-answer session on Education & Training. In the exhibit hall, Penn College employees and students staffed a busy booth with information about the college’s ShaleNET initiatives and its welding; heating, ventilation & air conditioning; and building sciences majors.
News: Marcellus Shale
Ceremonially breaking ground Tuesday morning for Panda Power Funds’ Patriot Energy Center in Clinton Township, Lycoming County, are (from left in left photo): State Rep. Garth Everett, who serves on the Penn College Board; Gregory Snyder, vice president, region executive, Siemens Energy Inc.; Gov. Tom Corbett; William F. Griffin, CEO, Gemma Power Systems; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board; Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; and Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner, Panda Power Funds. The shale-gas power plant is expected to begin commercial operation by mid-2016 and power up to 1 million homes while contributing nearly $6 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy.
A documentary crew from the Ukraine visited Penn College’s Energy Technology Education Center on July 29 to explore how training is provided for natural gas industry jobs. The documentary will explore shale development in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The American Embassy in Kiev provided a grant to one of Ukraine’s leading documentary producers, Ihor Chayka, to make a film on the U.S. experience with shale gas production. The documentary will be broadcast by a leading independent channel, ZIK TV, based in Lviv, Ukraine.
Photos by Greg Franklin
ShaleNET, a federally funded training program, recently received the Energy Leadership Award in Workforce Development at an annual awards ceremony sponsored by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
ShaleNET was launched in 2010 with a $4.96 million Community Based Job Training grant awarded to Westmoreland County Community College by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Pennsylvania College of Technology, the Allegheny Conference for Community Development and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association were the other partners in the original grant-funded program.
Accepting the award at a Business Times-hosted Energy Gala in Washington County were Patrick Gerity, vice president of continuing education, workforce and community development, Westmoreland County Community College, and Tracy L. Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development, Penn College.
Pennsylvania College of Technology held a ceremony Friday at its Energy Technology Education Center to dedicate a drilling rig simulator that supports hands-on learning for the college’s natural gas training offerings.
The simulator was purchased with U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training funds. In addition, New Pig, of Tipton, donated a protective geosynthetic membrane that was installed beneath the rig simulator.
Several ShaleNET certificate training offerings at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans eligible under a VA training assistance program.
Representatives from the state departments of Community and Economic Development and Labor and Industry visited Penn College on Thursday to tour the Energy Technology Education Center. The contingent is spending three days in central Pennsylvania counties as part of the Corbett Administration’s JOBS1st on the Road program. While here, officials are attending workshops, visiting business and touring communities to celebrate and see firsthand projects that are impacting the local economy. At ETEC, the group watched a drill-rig demonstration by students in a three-week roustabout-training course and several “props” at the course, suitable for training both potential gas-industry employees and emergency response crews.
A full-size natural gas wellhead has been donated to ShaleNET U.S. and installed in an electronics and computer engineering technology classroom on Penn College’s main campus. A partnership of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and FMC Technologies resulted in Monday’s delivery to the college’s Center for Business & Workforce Development, where the equipment will be used by the ShaleNET U.S. regional hub in training for occupations in the oil and natural gas industry. Fully spruced up for instructional use, the wellhead arrived in five pieces: more than two tons of steel that, until recently, was at work in the field. After a requisite safety briefing, Penn College General Services and Allison Crane & Rigging assisted in the unloading, transport and assembly– a process that FMC’s John Amburgey called “big-boy Legos.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Marino visited Penn College on Wednesday to learn more about the college’s workforce preparation for gas industry-related jobs. The 10th District Republican spoke with employees in Workforce Development & Continuing Education, toured the Energy Technology Education Center, and looked at an electronics and computer engineering technology lab where students are helping to set up a simulated well site. Marino is a 1983 graduate of Penn College’s forerunner, Williamsport Area Community College.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett made a Tuesday visit to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood, where – surrounded by the workforce of tomorrow, embodied by diesel technology and on-site power generation majors – he presented a 73-page resource guide designed to attract business and industry investors to the energy-rich commonwealth. “Whether from the well pad to the corner grocery store, the expansion of our energy sector has made Pennsylvanians better off and made us the vanguard of American energy independence,” the first-term Republican told an audience of students, college employees and the media. “This is an ‘all of the above and below’ strategy. It endorses every path, from gas wells running a mile below the earth to wind power high above.” The governor, joined by area legislators and state Labor and Industry Secretary Julia K. Hearthway, also toured the Energy Technology Education Center along nearby Route 15, a collaborative provider of hands-on training to emergency responders and to new and incumbent workers in the natural gas field.
Education and training partners within the ShaleNET Eastern Region recently met on Penn College’s main campus for an update on developments in the collaborative workforce- and community-development initiative centered around opportunities in the natural gas industry. A variety of speakers and presentations marked the Dec. 5 event, held in the Thompson Professional Development Center, covering topics that included future grant-funded career training activities and outreach to secondary and postsecondary institutions.
Photos by Craig R. Urey, student photographer
Penn College’s role in training workers for the natural gas industry – credit and noncredit programs, the collaborative ShaleNET consortium and the Energy Technology Education Center south of Williamsport – drew prominent mention in The Philadelphia Inquirer over the weekend. The article, headlined “Students Get Crash Course in Shale Industry,” is on the front page of the business section in Sunday’s print edition and was posted to the newspaper’s website.
The National Council for Workforce Education recently honored a ShaleNET job-training program in which Pennsylvania College of Technology played a key role along with grant recipient Westmoreland County Community College and additional partners.
As part of its 2013 Exemplary Program Awards, NCWE honored ShaleNET with a Noncredit Workforce Development Program Award. The award was presented at NCWE’s 2013 annual conference in Milwaukee.
Students at Pennsylvania College of Technology enrolled in majors related to energy and natural gas career fields can apply for scholarship assistance provided by the American Gas Association.
The AGA awarded Penn College $65,000 as part of a program providing a total of $1 million in funding to 26 institutions nationwide for students pursuing careers in the natural gas industry.
The Energy Technology Education Center has enhanced the hands-on training opportunities available to new and incumbent workers in the natural gas field, installing a drilling rig Monday that replicates equipment and conditions at a working well site. While many training facilities have simulators, ETEC’s steel training rig − purchased from Arkansas State University through a ShaleNET U.S. grant − is one of just three in the entire country and the only one in the Appalachian Basin. Drill pipe can be connected and dropped down the wellbore, which is cased and cemented, providing trainees with a safe and educational environment in which to learn what (and what not to do) on a functioning rig. ETEC, dedicated in May 2012 near the entrance to Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center south of Williamsport, is a collaborative venture to train industry employees and emergency responders.