Fueling an industry

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Community colleges are helping to meet workforce demand in the oil and gas industry.

The oil and gas industry is in need of skilled workers, and community colleges are working to meet the demand. Here’s what some colleges are doing:

No-cost training in Ohio

Stark State College and Belmont College in Ohio will hold a free 10-week summer intensive program this summer. ShaleNET Share scholarships, funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Chevron, make it possible for the program to be tuition-free. Students will learn corrosion prevention, pipeline operations, gas measurement, process controls and more. The program includes field trips and lectures from industry professionals, as well as hands-on, project-based learning.

Students in the program also earn 14 credit hours towards an associate degree in measurement and mechatronics, which is collaboratively offered by Belmont, Stark State, Eastern Gateway Community College and Hocking College, according to a press release.

Belmont also is offering a four-week natural gas utility and pipeline field skills training program. It, too, is tuition-free for eligible students in West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio, thanks to funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The training is targeted at displaced coal workers, though others in the region can take advantage of the opportunity.

Hands-on experience

To train more entry-level oil rig workers, Texas’ Houston Community College (HCC) is working with the oil industry on the RigOne Program. RigOne is an oil rig teaching facility at HCC’s Northeast College that’s equipped with an overhead crane, forklift and hand tools.

“Industry approached HCC and we have developed a program where we can train individuals, emphasizing safety,” said Horatio Brooks, HCC program director for industrial technology and energy, in a release.

According to the International Association Drilling Contractors (IADC) statistics, nearly 40% of rig-based accidents resulting in injury happen with crew members in their first 180 days of work.

Besides learning the basics of the oil industry, students also learn job interviewing skills and resume preparation. Upon completing the program, students are awarded IADC Rig Pass, IADC WellCAP and ACT National Career Readiness certifications and are ready to enter the oil industry workforce.

Something new

In February, Fletcher Technical Community College in Louisiana announced that it would launch a new a new global technician training program. The college partnered with Falck Safety Services to develop the curriculum. Course offerings will include principles and applications of predictive maintenance, components and operation of gas processing and storage systems, and maintenance of pumping systems.

Program participants will earn National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) credentials, helping them to strengthen their resumes for the oil and gas industry.

The college already has the integrated production technologies (IPT) program, which provides specialized academic and hands-on training to prepare students for careers in the oil and natural gas production industry. A $1 million state-of-the-art lab gives students real-world experience. Phillips 66 recently donated $10,400 to the program for the purchase of new meters.

Is your college preparing students for the oil and gas industry? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.