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More than 38,000 people work in the oil and gas field, which is a number that is expected to grow significantly by 2016.
Local educators on Wednesday attended the “Training Students for the Jobs of Today and Tomorrow” forum.
“So now’s the time here in Ohio, especially in this area to start really focusing on workforce training,” said Rhonda Reda of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education program.
Potential oil and gas workers in the area need specific training for the jobs expected to spring up in the area.
The program is now reaching out to people of all ages, even the youngest students. Reda said one way for educators to do that is to emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.
“When you’re starting at a very early elementary age, you’re studying basics of permeability, basic geology, all the way up to higher-level chemistry,” Reda said.
Reda also stressed the importance of career and technical centers and trade schools. Columbiana County’s Career and Technical Center recently completed a $1.7 million renovation to its welding and machining program that doubled their high school enrollment numbers and increased adult education enrollees.
“I like to say people are really beating down the doors because they are,” said CCCTC Superintendent Willard Adkins. “And our students are finding jobs as soon as they leave our program.”