YOUNGWOOD, Pa., Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Local residents in Youngwood, Pa. joined Congressman Tim Murphy, area leaders, educators and businesses today for a community discussion on natural gas training programs, the impact of workforce development in the region, and the natural gas industry's commitment to safe and responsible development of the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) jointly hosted the public event held at Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC).
Representative Murphy addressed Pennsylvania's growing natural gas industry workforce needs, and how educators across the region and state are evolving their curriculum to train Pennsylvanians for this industry. Also participating in today's panel were WCCC President Dr. Daniel Obara; Patrick Gerity, WCCC vice president for continuing education, workforce and community development; Bill Thompson, Executive Director of the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board; Rich Guenther, employee relations specialist with Chesapeake Energy; and Craig Dunn, floorman at Chesapeake Energy and 2011 WCCC graduate.
The Marcellus Shale, one of the largest sources of natural gas in the United States, brought the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania, which has led to a flurry of investment in the region and created economic and job opportunities across the state. Today's event focused on economic development opportunities for local business, educational programs to build the local workforce, and the industry's commitment to operating in the interest of the community through safe and responsible development.
"By creating thousands of jobs in the past year alone, the natural gas industry has brought a much needed economic boost to the Pennsylvania economy," said Gerity. ""We can make these positive changes stronger by training Pennsylvanians now for the natural gas jobs we have today and for the ones to come in the future."
Representatives from the natural gas community were also on hand to discuss the industry's commitment to safe and responsible development and to the communities where they operate. As part of this commitment, companies are working alongside community organizations and representatives to ensure environmental safety, maximize job creation and bring an economic boost to the region.
"Pennsylvania has made enormous economic strides thanks to natural gas development and will continue to do so," said Guenther. "Chesapeake and many other companies in our industry are making long term investments in Pennsylvania, and with that investment comes a long-term commitment to the vitality of the communities where we live and work. Chesapeake alone, will invest approximately $3 billion in Pennsylvania this year. We're proud of the work we do to provide our nation with an abundant supply of clean natural gas at stable, affordable prices, and we're happy to invest in the communities where our employees live, work and recreate."
For more information on this event, and natural gas development opportunities in the state, please visit www.FriendsOfNaturalGasPA.com.
SOURCE America's Natural Gas Alliance