Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shale Gas Workforce Migration

I'm still on vacation, but want to post this update about the impact of the Marcellus Play on the PA job market:

Laura Fisher, Senior Vice President of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development stated recently that 70% of the drilling workforce is not local to Pennsylvania. According to DEP, there was an average of 112 wells drilled per month in 2010. Penn State's State Cooperative Extension Division says that it takes approximately 400 individuals to drill a well. Based on these statistics, one can easily estimate that there are easily over 10,000 gas workers in Pennsylvania from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming.

Putting aside what looks to me to be a dodgy estimate, what would it take to relocate some of those workers permanently to Pennsylvania? Are they already de facto residents? A company footing the bill for such a long-distance commute would welcome a greater availability of local talent. So why not move your employees (and families) closer to the drilling sites? My guess is that the shale gas play remains cloaked in uncertainty. And if I am a local eying one of those jobs, then I would worry about competition from the current employees. As for now, the experienced help holds all the cards.


rootvg said...

If the Rust Belt states would fix the problems they have (and everyone knows what they are), they wouldn't have a problem maintaining their population and tax base.

Jim Russell said...

How about citing a few examples for Rust Belt states to emulate? I'm interested in reading about your solutions to the obvious Rust Belt problems.

rootvg said...

Jim, they know what to do. Brett Larkin of the Plain Dealer laid this out in a series of articles several years ago. The problem is culture and demographics and resources...and those issues have to be resolved first or none of the other items have a prayer of being addressed.

Jim Russell said...

How do you think the Rust Belt should resolve those issues? What's your plan?

rootvg said...

Jim, you're just trying to lead me along to tell you the same things I and everyone else have been telling you for years. It's about the old folks and their inflexibility and then the decades long starving of financial resources and refusal to believe the future wouldn't be similar to the past.

There are no secrets here. Everyone seems to know what the place needs but until certain people get out or are pushed out of the way and Right To Work laws are established (fat chance) and there's multi billion dollar investment in primary and secondary education and infrastructure, this is all just talk. You know and I know it.

I understand you're trying to generate traffic on a site nobody reads but hey...this is your gig, isn't it?

Jim Russell said...

I'm merely curious about your policy prescriptions.

FYI, I don't blog to generate hits. I'm interested in having a conversation about Rust Belt economic redevelopment as it relates to talent migration.

Why are you compelled to post comments on a site nobody reads?