CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — Union representatives and education officials say the oil and gas industry is still booming, even with the news of BP halting drilling development in the Valley.
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 Business Manager Butch Taylor and Mahoning County Career and Technical Center career director John Zehentbauer both said that even though it is disappointing that BP is leaving, the demand for workers is still strong.
“You know with BP leaving, it’s not the best news getting out of the Utica shale in our area, but it’s not the worst. There will be other companies coming into the area, as well as the future work that we have in the southern part of our jurisdictions, whether it be in Mahoning or Columbiana county,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the Valley is still a strong area for Utica shale and the demand for workers is only going to increase.
“We still have the status quo. We’re still going to move forward as we have been. Every time a company moves out, somebody moves back in. It’s ironic, especially in this fast-paced oil and gas industry. People are moving out and some people are moving in. It’s just a way of life,” Zehentbauer said. “The boom is not a bust, so it’s still booming. We hear companies every day that are talking about coming to the area that are contacting us for start-ups, so we are real excited about that.”
Zehentbauer said they have more jobs available in the industry right now than they have students to fill them.
Taylor and Zehentbauer both said that just because BP is pulling out of the area does not mean the boom is a bust. It just means that BP was not seeing the success it had hoped for.