WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced legislation to help prepare Pennsylvania workers for jobs in the natural gas industry. The Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act of 2010 will authorize grants to strengthen the On-the-Job Training programs to help ensure natural gas drilling jobs go to Pennsylvanians and not workers from out-of-state.
“Natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, if done properly, can create economic benefits for the Commonwealth and for Pennsylvanians,” said Senator Casey. “Unfortunately, many of these jobs are not going to Pennsylvanians. The companies are bringing in workers with prior experience from out-of-state. That is why I am introducing a bill to help increase on-the-job training so that these jobs will go to Pennsylvanians.”
One recent report by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development suggested that 70% of workers employed at Marcellus Shale drillings sites are not residents of Pennsylvania. As the number of Marcellus Shale well-sites continues to increase, we need to ensure the jobs are going to Pennsylvanians.
On-the-Job Training is a program authorized under the Workforce Investment Act. The main purpose of the program is to allow an employer to sign a contract with the local workforce investment board (WIB), agreeing to hire workers that need on-site training. The WIB provides a training subsidy to the employer equal to a percentage of the wage paid to the employee. The subsidy is typically 50% of the wage paid. The period of the contract is limited to the time it takes to properly train the employee.
The Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act of 2010 will authorize the Department of Labor to make grants to fund local On-the-Job Training programs; however, such grants may only be utilized to support training programs with employers that are directly related to the exploration for, production of, and transportation of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.