Thought Piece

Not unlike the University System  of North Dakota, the University System of Pennsylvania has started programs to train and education their students to prepare them for new Shell Cracker jobs. With Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania forming the Tri-State Shale Coalition to maximize the benefits of natural gas resources, the region expects to build as many 4 more crackers. In addition, the region will construct thousand of miles new, upgraded natural gas pipelines and new cleaner burning natural gas power plants.

In the case of providing the necessary training and education, all three University Systems have started to design programs to feed the Shale Revolution with skilled workers who are capable of providing the practical environmentalism and engineering to properly harvest the natural gas, tight oil, and feedstock in the Marcellus and the Utica Shale Basins.

These jobs are well paying in Appalachia at a time the coal industry has lost ,many jobs. Also, the  cities, counties, and states will receive large tax inflows to provide the revenue necessary to provide the modern hospitals and health care so important to socio-economic well-being.

Penn State to Help Create New Biz Opportunities from Shell Cracker

The Penn State campus in Erie County (called Penn State Behrend) has been tapped by the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to be the “lead partner” for developing business and market opportunities for the state related to the mighty $6 billion Shell ethane cracker–currently under construction in Beaver County. Erie County where Behrend is located is certainly not next door to the cracker, not nearly as close as some other Penn State campuses. So why was Behrend selected? In a word, plastics. “The strength of Erie’s plastics industry and the success of Penn State Behrend’s School of Engineering, which offers one of only six accredited U.S. plastics undergraduate programs, makes Erie of particular interest to DCED.” According to DCED’s Denise Brinley, senior energy adviser, “Penn State Behrend can provide critical connections to research support, materials testing and a talent pipeline that will add value to this large-scale petrochemical investment and associated growth in the plastics sector.” Penn State is kicking in a $250,000 grant to their Energy University Partnership for oil and gas strategies, to help prime the pump…

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