Casey Announces $4.9 Million for Westmoreland County Community College for Natural Gas Job Training

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded $4,964,534 to Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) in Youngwood for community-based job training in the natural gas drilling and production industry.

“The development of gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale fields is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs,” said Senator Casey. “It is vital to support programs such as WCCC’s gas drilling training program to ensure that Pennsylvanians can be prepared for these jobs.”

“The Community-Based Job Training Grants will provide the opportunity to develop a sustainable, industry-driven workforce training network for gas workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York,” said Dr. Daniel J. Obara, President of Westmoreland County Community College. “Westmoreland County Community College is pleased to work with Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Workforce Investment Boards and CareerLinks to develop and implement this job training program that will meet the needs of employers in the Marcellus Shale industry and position dislocated, unemployed and underemployed workers for family sustaining jobs in the region.”

This funding will create a comprehensive recruitment, training, placement and retention program for occupations in the natural gas drilling and production industry.  WCCC will be working with Pennsylvania College of Technology, along with West Virginia Northern Community College, Eastern Gateway Community College (Ohio) and Broome Community College (New York) to coordinate training programs throughout the region. WCCC is also working closely to incorporate labor unions during the development of the comprehensive training programs.

The funding is available through the DOL Employment and Training Administration’s Community-Based Job Training Grant program. WCCC is one of 41 community colleges and organizations receiving a portion of $125 million announced today.

Senator Casey sent a letter to DOL Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Brian Kennedy asking him to consider WCCC’s application for a Community-Based Job Training Grant. In the letter, Senator Casey emphasized the need for a highly trained and educated workforce in Pennsylvania’s emerging Marcellus Shale drilling industry.