CAMBRIDGE — Sue Thomas Sikora, manager of the Guernsey County Opportunity Center in Cambridge, said jobs in the gas and oil industry are there for the taking, especially in Carroll and Belmont counties.
“The Opportunity Center, part of the ‘One-Stop’ system that includes Guernsey, Muskingum, Coshocton and Licking counties, continues to provide job postings and recruiting support for various oil and gas companies. Oil and gas companies continue to request drivers, technicians and roustabouts ... But individuals interested in oil and gas careers must be willing to travel,” Sikora said. “Eastern Ohio, in particular, the Carroll/Belmont County area, continues to be the hub of activity right now.”
The Opportunity Center may be able to support individuals who would like to upgrade their skills to work in energy related fields. The Center has had funds available for those interested, partnering with local and regional career centers and community colleges to fund short-term trainings.
Sikora offers another perspective on the rising demand for workers at established and new local businesses.
“While jobs in the oil and gas industry are exciting to plan for, we can’t lose sight of our local business and industry, in particular our manufacturing sector, which continues to be strong,” said Sikora.
She said that most local businesses have added jobs over the past year and continue to actively hire.
“The Opp Center has been able to help our local businesses with on-the-job training subsidies in support of their hiring and training efforts, and we hope to continue to provide that support to them over the next year.”
Ohio’s unemployment rate in early 2012 was almost 11 percent, latest available report shows as of December 2012, unemployment rate in Ohio dropped to 6.7 percent.
“Seasonal layoffs have contributed to a slight increase we are currently experiencing, however, with a strong local industry, current job postings reported to the Opp Center and tightening of unemployment rules forcing more to seek work sooner, we will again see the unemployment rate dip below the seven percent mark,” she said.
“We can tell the workforce is ready to get back to work. This past January we had 1,100 customers visit our Opp Center, either looking for work, preparing a new resume, or attending our Job Shop Workshop.
“In 2012, we had just under 9,000 customer visits for the entire year, so in comparison we can tell this year is going to a busy and exiting one for both the Opportunity Center and our job seekers.”
The ShaleNet website reports the drilling of a single well requires 400 people working in nearly 150 occupations with 47 percent of a well’s workforce consists of jobs that do not require a four-year degree: general labor (20 percent), heavy equipment operators (17 percent), and commercial driver’s license on and off-road truckers (10 percent).
These positions offer an important opportunity to retrain and assist low-wage, unemployed and dislocated workers for jobs that have significant career growth opportunity, and offer family sustaining wages.