News: ShaleNET

Tioga County Act 13 Funds Support Tuition-Free Natural Gas Training

Pennsylvania College of Technology will provide $50,000 in ShaleNET scholarships to 50 veterans, unemployed and underemployed residents of Tioga County.

The scholarships are made possible by Act 13 (impact fee) funding approved recently by the Tioga County Commissioners.

The college will offer tuition-free training – $1,000 per student – to provide the basic skills and certifications required for entry-level employment in the oil and natural gas industry. Classes may lead to employment in the occupations of roustabout, floorhand, completion technician and welder helper. The short-term, noncredit, certificate-awarding program trains residents in three primary skill areas identified by employers as critical to successful employment: job readiness, workplace and environmental safety, and technical awareness.

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New Penn State President Makes First Visit to Penn College
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Penn State President Eric J. Barron (left) is joined on the verdant grounds of the Victorian House by (from right) Robert E. Dunham, chairman emeritus of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, current board chairman; and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Penn State President Eric J. Barron traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Tuesday, his first visit since assuming the presidency in May. In a timely trip to a main campus observing its 25th anniversary as a special mission affiliate of Penn State – as well as its yearlong Centennial celebration – Barron met with students, viewed three recent art installations, toured Madigan Library and student housing, explored the college’s role in the natural gas industry, and visited a variety of instructional labs. Joining Barron and his wife, Molly, on the tour were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; retired Penn College Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham and his wife, Maureen; Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost; and police Chief Chris E. Miller. A reception in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, where the group was joined by state Sen. Gene Yaw, board chairman, followed.

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Natural Gas Partners Updated at ShaleNET Gathering

Christopher J. Legarski, a knowledge engineer with Discovery Machine Inc., outlines an immersive training tool that simulates the real world of wellfield tank-servicing. The module allows an employee to follow a prescribed procedure, step by crucial step,  within the safety of an artificial environment.

Christopher J. Legarski, a knowledge engineer with Discovery Machine Inc., outlines an immersive training tool that simulates the real world of wellfield tank-servicing. The module allows an employee to follow a prescribed procedure, step by crucial step, within the safety of an artificial environment.

Hub director John F. Strittmatter (left) with one of the day's key speakers, Peter Rozelle, from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy, Division of Advanced Energy Systems ...

Hub director John F. Strittmatter (left) with one of the day’s key speakers, Peter Rozelle, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, Division of Advanced Energy Systems …

... and leading a tour of the full-size natural gas wellhead donated to ShaleNET U.S.

… and leading a tour of the full-size natural gas wellhead donated to ShaleNET U.S.

The projected longevity of shale development is tracked by James R. Ladlee, associate director of Penn State's Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research.

The projected longevity of shale development is tracked by James R. Ladlee, associate director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research.

Partners within ShaleNET’s Eastern Region Hub gathered at Penn College on Wednesday for a variety of presentations and wide-ranging discussion of educational and occupational trends in the natural gas field. A number of industry representatives were on hand for the meeting, which was held in the Thompson Professional Development Center and included a video of student testimonials from a recent “roustabout” graduation. The daylong session concluded with a tour of the consortium’s well-site trainer and the college’s mechatronics lab, both in the Center for Business & Workforce Development.

Equipment Rodeo, Presentations Showcase State’s Energy Producers

Welding students Daniel J. Peppernick, left, of Spring Run (welding and fabrication engineering technology) and Teague W. Ohl, of Cogan Station (welding technology) help visitors to use a virtual reality welding simulator.

Welding students Daniel J. Peppernick, left, of Spring Run (welding and fabrication engineering technology) and Teague W. Ohl, of Cogan Station (welding technology) help visitors to use a virtual reality welding simulator.

Rex E. Moore, ShaleNET U.S. consultant and instructor, talks with a visitor.

Rex E. Moore, ShaleNET U.S. consultant and instructor, talks with a visitor.

Joseph P. Hanstine, of Lakewood, maneuvers the bucket under a PVC cage to pull a sled without knocking either the soccer ball from the sled or the tennis balls from the cage.

Joseph P. Hanstine, of Lakewood, maneuvers the bucket under a PVC cage to pull a sled without knocking either the soccer ball from the sled or the tennis balls from the cage.

Sheldon N. Smith, of Harleysville, carefully places a pipe.

Sheldon N. Smith, of Harleysville, carefully places a pipe.

August graduate Ashley M. Baker, of Coudersport, plucks a soccer ball from its perch on a traffic cone.

August graduate Ashley M. Baker, of Coudersport, plucks a soccer ball from its perch on a traffic cone.

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.

Preparing Documentary on Shale Gas, Ukrainian Film Crew Visits ETEC

from left, Mykola Avdeenko, cameraman; Ihor Chayka, producer;  Thomas Murphy, Penn State Extension educator and co-director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center of Outreach and Research; and Vadym Storozhev, audio technician.

from left, Mykola Avdeenko, cameraman; Ihor Chayka, producer; Thomas Murphy, Penn State Extension educator and co-director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center of Outreach and Research; and Vadym Storozhev, audio technician.

John F. Strittmatter, director of ShaleNet's U.S. regional hub, is interviewed alongside student Amy L. Gallagher, of Linden.

John F. Strittmatter, director of ShaleNet’s U.S. regional hub, is interviewed alongside student Amy L. Gallagher, of Linden.

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 Receives Energy Leadership Award

From left, Louis D’Amico, president and executive director, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association; Danielle Boston, director of administration, PIOGA; Larry Michael, retired assistant vice president for workforce development and special projects, Penn College; Lea Pizzutelli, Western Hub Marcellus ShaleNET career coach, Westmoreland County Community College; David Pistner, director of energy initiatives, Penn College; Alice Schuster, ShaleNET project director, Penn College; John Strittmatter, ShaleNET regional hub director, Penn College; Patrick Gerity, vice president of continuing education, workforce and community development, WCCC; Tracy Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development, Penn College; Meredith Fahey, workplace project manager, Allegheny Conference on Community Development; Elaine Fisher, Western Hub Marcellus ShaleNET grant technician, WCCC; Byron Kohut, director, Western Hub ShaleNET, WCCC; and Dan Weaver, director of public outreach, PIOGA.

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.

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Penn College Dedicates Rig Simulator Used in Natural Gas Training

At the dedication for the drilling rig simulator at Penn College’s Energy Technology Education Center are, from left: state Rep. Garth Everett, who serves on the college’s board of directors; Brian Young, district operations manager for Trican Well Services; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the board; Tracy L. Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development; President Davie Jane Gilmour; and Lycoming County Commissioners Chairman Jeff Wheeland.

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.

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ShaleNET Training at Penn College Approved for Veterans Assistance

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.

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State Agencies’ Three-Day Area ‘Road’ Trip Includes Stop at ETEC

Rex E. Moore, in blue hard hat, ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor, introduces his current class of potential natural gas industry employees.

Rex E. Moore, in blue hard hat, ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor, introduces his current class of potential natural gas industry employees.

Students in a three-week roustabout training program demonstrate a drilling rig.

Students in a three-week roustabout training program demonstrate a drilling rig.

Steven V. Nickell, director of ShaleTEC, talks about the center’s work with the state Fire Academy to train emergency responders.

Steven V. Nickell, director of ShaleTEC, talks about the center’s work with the state Fire Academy to train emergency responders.

Ash Khare, left, special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, talks with David C. Pistner, the college’s director of energy initiatives.

Ash Khare, left, special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, talks with David C. Pistner, the college’s director of energy initiatives.

Nickell lights a prop.

Nickell lights a prop.

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 Towering Training Tool Arrives, Wellfield-Tested and Workforce-Ready

Barely a week from field service, a newly sandblasted and painted wellhead arrives at the Center for Business & Workforce Development. Among those on hand for the special delivery are (at right) General Services custodian Jeff G. Rotoli; Daniel R. Mendell, ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor; and (in checkered shirt) John F. Strittmatter, director of the ShaleNET U.S. regional hub.

Barely a week from field service, a newly sandblasted and painted wellhead arrives at the Center for Business & Workforce Development. Among those on hand for the special delivery are (at right) General Services custodian Jeff G. Rotoli; Daniel R. Mendell, ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor; and (in checkered shirt) John F. Strittmatter, director of the ShaleNET U.S. regional hub.

Facilities supervisor Barry L. Loner Jr. begins offloading the heavy cargo via lift truck.

Facilities supervisor Barry L. Loner Jr. begins offloading the heavy cargo via lift truck.

A contingent of General Services workers guides one of the pieces to its destination on the south side of the BWD.

A contingent of General Services workers guides one of the pieces to its destination on the south side of the BWD.

The assembled wellhead rises about 12 feet from the laboratory floor.

The assembled wellhead rises about 12 feet from the laboratory floor.

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.”

Congressman Explores Alma Mater’s Role in Preparing Shale Workforce

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, left, views a realistic training prop at ETEC with David C. Pistner, the college’s director of energy initiatives.

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, left, views a realistic training prop at ETEC with David C. Pistner, the college’s director of energy initiatives.

Daniel R. Mendell, right, a ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor, talks with Marino about a well-site simulator being set up with input from students in the electronics and computer engineering technology major. Seated is Patrick J. Reid, who is developing programmable logic controls for the simulator as part of his senior project.

Daniel R. Mendell, right, a ShaleNET U.S. consultant/instructor, talks with Marino about a well-site simulator being set up with input from students in the electronics and computer engineering technology major. Seated is Patrick J. Reid, who is developing programmable logic controls for the simulator as part of his senior project.

From left, John F. Strittmatter, director of the ShaleNET U.S. regional hub; Alice M. Schuster, project director for ShaleNET U.S.; Marino; and Pistner.

From left, John F. Strittmatter, director of the ShaleNET U.S. regional hub; Alice M. Schuster, project director for ShaleNET U.S.; Marino; and Pistner.

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.

Governor Unveils ‘Energy = Jobs’ Guidebook During Campus Visit
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The college president introduces the day's guest of honor ...

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.

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ShaleNET Partnership Holds Regional Meeting

Jeannette F. Carter, director of Outreach for K-12, discusses the opportunities for cooperation between industry and education.

Jeannette F. Carter, director of Outreach for K-12, discusses the opportunities for cooperation between industry and education.

Robert A. Roush, of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp., addresses the Workforce Investment Board's responsiveness to industry needs.

Robert A. Roush, of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp., addresses the Workforce Investment Board’s responsiveness to industry needs.

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

College’s Shale-Related Initiatives Featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer

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.

ShaleNET Partnership Receives National Honor

From left, Barbara Bang, National Council for Workforce Education vice president for communications and dean of the technologies and services division at North Dakota State College of Science; Patrick Gerity, vice president for continuing education, workforce and community education at Westmoreland County Community College; Tracy Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development at Penn College; and Theresa Bryant, NCWE president and vice president for workforce development at Tidewater Community College.

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.

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