Penn College Students Get Eyeful of Some Very Heavy Equipment
A Heavy Construction Equipment Operations class from Pennsylvania College of Technology recently toured the Chief Oil & Gas gas-drilling location in western Lycoming County, seeing a first-of-its-kind electric rig designed specifically for the Marcellus Shale play.
Daria Fish, public affairs manager for Chief Appalachia, greeted the students on site, and the tour of the new state-of-the-art drilling rig operated by Union Drilling Inc. was conducted by Dave Roberts, Chief Oil & Gas drilling manager.
The students were engaged in a discussion on a variety of topics related to Chief's Marcellus program; company representatives talked specifically about site preparation and other aspects of their operations that apply directly to the college's heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis major.
Budd L. Greevy, an instructor of diesel equipment technology at Penn College, commented that the tour was very informative, both for him as a faculty member and for his students.
"The Chief Oil & Gas tour gave the students a realistic view of how complex the horizontal-drilling process is," he said, "as well as how many different people and companies it takes to drill and complete a well."
Chief Oil & Gas, which has operations throughout the Marcellus Shale play, has made connections with Penn College and the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center (a collaborative venture of the college's Workforce Development & Continuing Education unit and Penn State Cooperative Extension) through active involvement in the Marcellus Shale Industry Partnership and its hiring of two Penn College graduates to support operations.
Jeffrey F. Lorson, an industrial technology specialist with WDCE who works directly with the MSETC said the college is responsive to the natural-gas industry, matching existing degrees with desired skill sets and developing other programs based on employers' specific and unique needs.
"As this industry unfolds in the Appalachian Basin, a large part of our efforts involve introducing these companies that are new to Pennsylvania to the existing capabilities of Penn College," he said. "As more graduates of our programs become employed in the oil-and-gas industry, it will provide another avenue of opportunity for our students, both in the degree programs, as well as in the nondegree programs."
For more information about the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call 570-320-8038. For more about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.