Monday, October 17, 2011

Natural Gas Boom Fuels Education Boom

ASSOCIATED PRESS -- "Zane State College in Ohio is among dozens of public colleges and universities across the northeastern shale states that are moving to add new staff, academic majors or job-training courses in fields related to natural gas.

“There’s really been a sea change in these opportunities, a cornucopia of community colleges and local workforce training programs across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, even the southern tier of New York,” said Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, representing energy and exploration companies. “As natural gas continues to expand, so do the needs for a local workforce with these skills that are going to be in need for the next 50 years, or even more.”

Training shale workers is not only on the minds of energy interests in the Northeast; newly available resources in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas have also been met with new educational offerings. Those include the Colorado Energy Research Institute’s outreach efforts with a dozen community and technical colleges, and the professional land management certificate program started just last month by the University of Texas at Austin. The field’s promised job growth is being documented."

MP: Here's another example of how domestic energy production creates positive ripple effects through the economy, and stimulates both direct job creation in drilling industries and indirect job creation in related industries like education in this case, which helps support the natural gas industry.  Another example is Ohio's booming steel industry that is providing the thousands of feet of steel pipe that are used for drilling natural gas.

HT: Marcellus Gas

10 Comments:

At 10/17/2011 10:20 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

MP: Here's another example of how domestic energy production creates positive ripple effects through the economy, and stimulates both direct job creation in drilling industries and indirect job creation in related industries like education in this case, which helps support the natural gas industry.

Not much more than a decade ago you could have written something similar.

MP: Here's another example of how the dot.com industry creates positive ripple effects through the economy, and stimulates both direct job creation in software industries and indirect job creation in related industries like education in this case, which helps support the internet industry.

The US needs to let its energy industry find solutions to the coming energy problems. But that does not mean that ethanol, biofuel, solar, wind, or even shale gas and oil are viable at the current price levels. What the shale producers need to prove themselves is profit. So far, I have seen very little of it.

 
At 10/17/2011 10:20 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Why are community colleges involved in training a workforce for the natural gas industry?

 
At 10/17/2011 10:48 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"Why are community colleges involved in training a workforce for the natural gas industry?"

They also train librarians, sociologists, teachers, law enforcement, and historians for governments -- so the graduates can be supported in jobs, as a result of taxes paid by the natural gas industry workforce.

 
At 10/17/2011 11:24 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Why are community colleges involved in training a workforce for the natural gas industry?"

What Buddy said.

Also, if we assume that community colleges offer courses that are of interest to the local community, then we can understand that in some places, that interest would be the natural gas industry.

There's nothing sinister about this, if that's what you're implying.

 
At 10/17/2011 12:10 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Who captures the benefits of the training of the natural gas workforce? The natural gas industry employers and employees. Attempting to justify this program because taxpayers are forced to bear the cost of other programs where the benefits are captured by the employees and employers seems odd. And if the point is that natural gas employers and employees end up paying taxes, therefore tax money in this training is an "investment" in a program that will return taxes, that also seems odd. Is that the goal of spending taxpayers' money - to produce more taxpayers so that government can grow?

 
At 10/17/2011 12:33 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Bill asks:

"Is that the goal of spending taxpayers' money - to produce more taxpayers so that government can grow?

No. The goal is to grow the eocnomy and general overall wealth of the citizenry.

Bill, should taxpayers fund community colleges solely as a source for a government workforce? Taxpayer funded education to pay for a tax payer funded workforce does not create a tax base.

 
At 10/17/2011 1:01 PM, Blogger Bill said...

My preference would be for all education to be supplied by private entities, with taxpayer-funded, need-based vouchers for some individual students.

 
At 10/17/2011 4:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Bill: "My preference would be for all education to be supplied by private entities, with taxpayer-funded, need-based vouchers for some individual students."

A worthy goal, except for the "taxpayer funded" part.

"Who captures the benefits of the training of the natural gas workforce? The natural gas industry employers and employees."

I assume you consider that to be a good thing - except for the taxpayer "forced" part.

"Attempting to justify this program because taxpayers are forced to bear the cost of other programs where the benefits are captured by the employees and employers seems odd."

Leaving out the "forced" part, we might assume that a community college serves the needs of the community. If so, those who live in the community, and are therefore eligible for enrollment, are the same people who will benefit from the education - ignoring the taxpayer forced part.

" And if the point is that natural gas employers and employees end up paying taxes, therefore tax money in this training is an "investment" in a program that will return taxes, that also seems odd."

You are reading something into the post that isn't there. I don't see any reference to "investment".

"Is that the goal of spending taxpayers' money - to produce more taxpayers so that government can grow?"

Certainly not. I don't see where that was suggested.

What I do see, is "moving to add new staff", which seems to imply new jobs, and one can imagine the benefits to local businesses from a larger student enrollment.

If local people learn new, more valuable skills, and therefore have higher earnings, it's not clear what you think is wrong.

If your concern is with the "taxpayer funded" part, you could just say so, and many would agree.

That would be a legitimate complaint with or without the new interest in the natural gas industry.

 
At 10/17/2011 6:07 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Note the "needs-based" wording (in order to qualify for taxpayer-financed assistance)in my post. It was in recognition that some students with great potential will not be able to attend college absent financial assistance. If this gap can be filled through private, voluntary contributions, that would be my first choice. I've chosen to leave open the possibility, however, that some tax money might be used in those cases where private donations come up short, and result in some motivated, talent people not being able to improve their lot due to financing.

 
At 10/18/2011 2:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Bill: "I've chosen to leave open the possibility, however, that some tax money might be used in those cases where private donations come up short, and result in some motivated, talent people not being able to improve their lot due to financing."

You want to spend money taken from me for the education of motivated, talented people?

 

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