Montoursville, PA – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled legislation that is aimed at helping Pennsylvania residents gain the skills they need to compete for natural gas jobs. Casey’s bill, the Marcellus Shale on the Job Training Act, would authorize grants to strengthen On-the-Job Training programs to help ensure natural gas drilling jobs go to Pennsylvanians. Casey is a Senate leader on natural gas development. He has introduced legislation to incentivize municipal use of natural gas powered vehicles and recently introduced a bill, the Clean Vehicle Corridors Act that is designed to attract natural gas infrastructure and private investment to designated clean corridors.
“Developing natural gas will allow Pennsylvania to take control of its energy and economic destiny,” Senator Casey said. “This legislation is about ensuring Pennsylvania workers have the skills they need to compete for jobs in the natural gas field. Marcellus Shale is an incredible resource for our state and it’s critical that Pennsylvanians reap the economic benefits from this opportunity.”
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 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.