A program of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association

WV Petroleum Tech Grads Landing Jobs

July 16, 2015 | The State Journal

West Virginia’s first class of Petroleum Technology program graduates is already making its way into the workforce.

“Of the 10 graduates from Pierpont Community & Technical College and West Virginia Northern Community College, eight of them have already found industry jobs, some of which are paying $26.50 an hour or more,” Sarah Tucker, interim chancellor for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, said in a statement.

The first class of students from the colleges’ Petroleum Technology programs graduated this past May. 

Of the 90 students who make up the second graduating class, who are now finishing up their first year in the program, nearly 17 percent have been placed in summer internship positions with the natural gas companies, Tucker added.

“We are very proud of our first class of Petroleum Technology graduates and believe this program is a role model for training a more qualified West Virginia workforce while providing for the needs of the industries we have here at home,” said Paul Schreffler, vice president and dean of Pierpont’s School of Workforce Development.

Under guidance from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

and with help of several natural gas industry representatives, the state CTC system has developed several programs to meet the needs of the energy sector, including mechatronics technology, instrumentation technology, applied process technology and electrical distribution technology. 

“Representatives from Noble Energy, Dominion Energy, Southwestern Energy, Chevron, Chesapeake and other gas companies stepped up to the plate, both financially and through providing equipment and expertise, to create a world class program,” said Karri Mulhern, director of Economic and Workforce Development at West Virginia Northern Community College. “This has been a concerted effort focused on the single purpose of training West Virginia residents for jobs that keep them — and their skill sets — here at home.”

Corky DeMarco, president of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association, also said, “Pierpont, as well as Northern Community College, has done an exceptional job of building a program that both improves the skill set of West Virginians and provides a ready workforce for the gas industry.”

The Petroleum Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program focuses on the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required for success in technician-level jobs within the upstream petroleum production industry. The program includes 60 credit hours of study and prepares students for direct employment into the oil and gas industry.

For additional information, contact Tucker at 304-558-0087.

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