In Meeting with Community College Presidents, Casey Promotes Natural Gas Job Training

WASHINGTON, DC— At a meeting today with Pennsylvania community college presidents, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) thanked the presidents for the work they do to give workers the skills they need to succeed.  Senator Casey and the community college presidents also discussed federal resources available to community colleges to expand curriculum to offer courses to prepare Pennsylvanians for jobs related to the Marcellus Shale.  Senator Casey has been a proponent of training Pennsylvania workers so natural gas jobs go to Pennsylvanians rather than out-of-state workers.

“Many community colleges across the Commonwealth have done good work to offer new courses and training to help workers secure jobs in the natural gas industry,” said Senator Casey.  “The federal government has provided help to Pennsylvania schools including $4.9 million to Westmoreland County Community College for community-based job training in the natural gas drilling and production industry.  At today’s meeting, we also discussed additional avenues available to provide assistance to Pennsylvania community colleges for natural gas-related job training and I offered my support in helping to secure federal funding.”

Senator Casey and the community college presidents specifically discussed a grant program administered by the Department of Labor that provides resources for community colleges to expand their capacity to provide education, postsecondary credentials and job training to eligible workers.

Eligible institutions may submit applications as a single eligible institution or as the lead institution in a consortium.  They may also participate as a member of a consortium in one or more applications in which they do not serve as the lead institution.

Senator Casey supported a $4.9 million grant awarded to Westmoreland County Community College announced in June 2010 for community-based job training in the natural gas drilling and production industry.  The funding was available through the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration’s Community-Based Job Training Grant program.

In July 2010, Senator Casey 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.

Presidents from the following institutions attended the meeting: Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of Beaver County, Bucks County Community College, Butler County Community College, Delaware County Community College, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Luzerne County Community College, Montgomery County Community College, Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Community College of Philadelphia, Reading Area Community College and Westmoreland Area Community College.