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Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center Holds Grand Opening

Participants in Thursday's dedication of the Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center were, from left, Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach%3B Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour%3B state Sen. Gene Yaw%3B Danielle Boston, of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association%3B U.S. Rep. Glenn 'G.T.' Thompson and Larry L. Michael, executive director for workforce and economic development at the college.The Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center officially opened Thursday with ceremonies held at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The center, located inside Penn College’s Center for Business & Workforce Development, provides a centralized location for industry, students and the public to obtain information regarding Marcellus Shale workforce-development initiatives.

The center includes the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center featuring participation from Penn College and Penn State Cooperative Extension which has provided workforce development, assessment and training services since 2008. The MSETC has completed several workforce assessments and has trained more than 1,000 people in natural gas related courses. The courses have benefited unemployed individuals seeking a career change, as well as employees who have already been hired by the natural gas industry.

Also operating at the center is ShaleNET (Eastern Region Hub), supported by a $4.96 million U.S. Department of Labor grant and funding recruitment, training and job placement across the Marcellus Shale footprint. As part of this three-year initiative, a hub located at Penn College will serve to develop, standardize and coordinate several training courses for individuals seeking employment in the natural gas industry.

President Davie Jane Gilmour and U.S. Rep. Glenn 'G.T.' Thompson“This continues Penn College’s commitment to support the various workforce-development needs of the natural gas industry,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “As Marcellus Shale activity and the natural gas industry continue to expand and evolve in our region, Penn College and its strategic partners are committed to providing the infrastructure and support services required to serve the area’s workforce needs.”

Staff will be available at the new center to respond to inquiries and the needs of the public and the natural gas industry regarding workforce assessments, training opportunities, and various federal, state and regional initiatives that support the industry.

“Penn State Cooperative Extension is proud to be a partner with Penn College to advance critical workforce assessment and training through the new center,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach. “The efforts of the new center complement Penn State’s significant research and extension programs addressing the myriad of opportunities and complex issues centered around the growth of the shale play across the commonwealth.”

According to Larry L. Michael, executive director for workforce and economic development at Penn College: “This new center will provide a centralized point of contact for natural gas workforce-development initiatives and information. We have many program offerings, as well as funding, to offset the workforce-training costs associated with training industry personnel and individuals pursuing a career with this exciting new industry.”

Thursday ceremonies officially opened The Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center at Penn College.“As the workforce developing the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania becomes more local, it is even more imperative that the skills necessary to work safely in this industry are obtained from local educational providers with an in-depth understanding of the training needs necessary to be successful,” said Thomas B. Murphy, co-director of the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research at Penn State. “The Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center is that one-stop location for the public and will advance the development of the employment build in this emerging industry in Pennsylvania.”

For more information on available courses, visit online . A campus map and directions are on the Web .

For more information, call the Marcellus Shale Workforce Resource Center at 570-327-4775 or visit the Center for Business & Workforce Development, 1127 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.