Morrisville readies to train natural gas drilling workforce

NORWICH – A meeting scheduled next week at Morrisville State College to discuss a new academic program of study that would train workers for jobs within the natural gas industry couldn’t come soon enough for Chenango County Economic Development Consultant Steven Palmatier.

With the prospect of hundreds of new jobs for Southern Tier workers within the next three to five years, the college is being encouraged to prepare a workforce, he said.

Many natural gas industry followers are predicting a June release date for the state’s revised hydrofracking regulations. Energy companies and their suppliers have been waiting in the wings for 18 months for the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement to be released.

The statement of regulations will allow companies to begin developing the abundant Marcellus and Utica formations in the region, and if it’s anything like what happened when the Marcellus Shale action began heating up two years ago in neighboring Pennsylvania, there will be hundreds of jobs available at well sites within the first 18 months.

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