ShaleNET Regional Hub Director Named at Penn College
ShaleNET is a federally funded consortium initiative that develops and standardizes credit and noncredit education and training programs to serve high-demand occupations in the oil and natural gas industry.
Last fall, Penn College was awarded a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to lead an effort to expand ShaleNET’s reach geographically and to implement a “stackable credentials” model for the industry that features foundational skills, entry-level certifications, certificate programs, associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree.
Forgione has worked in the oil and gas industry for 29 years. Since 2011, he has been an independent contractor providing oil and gas education and training, as well as technical and leasing consultation services.
From 2001-11, he was employed by Range Resources-Appalachia in a variety of positions, including senior engineer-public relations; senior engineer-water management and production engineer. Prior to that, he worked in the industry as a well-production operator, production geologist, geologist landman and land division chief.
Forgione earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from State University of New York at Fredonia. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
“We are pleased to have Mike join the ShaleNET team at Penn College as hub director,” said Tracy L. Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development. “With almost 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, serving in many technical capacities including production engineer, wastewater management, completion monitor, well production operator, land agent and production geologist, Mike brings an essential technical component to our noncredit and credit programs. This expertise, along with his connections to the industry and passion for education, is of great value to us fulfilling the objectives of this grant.”
ShaleNET was launched in 2010 with a $5 million Community Based Job Training grant awarded to Westmoreland County Community College by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The original intent was to respond quickly to industry workforce needs by creating an entry-level training program for high-demand occupations.
In September, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program, awarded a $15 million grant to Penn College for expansion of the initiative.
In addition to Penn College, ShaleNET’s college consortium consists of Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood; Navarro Community College, Corsicana, Texas; and Stark State College, Canton, Ohio.
Penn College also partners with The Allegheny Conference on Community Development to plan and implement the initiative. Industry/employer partners include Chevron, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake Energy, XTO Energy, Encana, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association and the Ohio Shale Coalition.
With Penn State Extension, Penn College also operates the Shale Training and Education Center, which provides workforce-development education and services to assist with the needs of the community and the oil and natural gas industry. The college also offers a variety of academic majors that can lead to rewarding careers in the industry.