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Building a Sustainable Workforce Development in the Oil and Gas Industry

The shale gas revolution in the United States has opened thousands of new jobs for workers across the gas value chain at the point of extraction, processing and sale—upstream, midstream, and downstream (1). With support from a TAACCCT grant, ShaleNET—a consortium led by Westmoreland County Community College—launched, creating an entry-level training program for high-demand upstream occupations. By the close of the first ShaleNET grant in 2013, the program had trained and helped over 3,400 students find employment (2). ShaleNET received a second grant through the TAACCCT program, this time focused on training students for midstream and downstream jobs. Employers were heavily engaged in providing WBL opportunities throughout the ShaleNET program, providing tours and internship opportunities. In fact, several of the ShaleNET programs required students to complete internships. At Navarro Community College, students in internships were required to submit lab reports about their internship experiences on a biweekly basis, with worksite supervisors assessing their skills and progress (3).

To date, over 50 companies have employed ShaleNET participants (4). ShaleNET was recognized with the Energy Leadership Award in Workforce Development at an annual energy awards ceremony sponsored by the Pittsburg Business Times (5).

Within a year, through ShaleNET, I changed careers and got a job that I consider one of the best. In landscaping I felt the ceiling, but in oil and gas, the opportunities are limitless!

—Matt Hutchison, ShaleNET participant at Stark State College

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Find and use FREE Open Educational Resources available on SkillsCommons.

Additional Project Information

ShaleNET Workforce Training Program (published by Chevron)

Additional Videos

ShaleNET Grad Jim Kistler finds rewarding new career at 50

Energy careers are within reach via ShaleNET in PA, Ohio, Texas

  1. IHS. “America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the US Economy.” September 2013, p.1.
  2. “About ShaleNET,” ShaleNET, n.d.,
  3. Kate Dunham et al., ShaleNET TAACCCT Grant Third-Party Evaluation Interim Report (Oakland: Social Policy Research Associates, 2015),
  4. ShaleNET Newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 3. October 2013,
  5. “ShaleNET Receives Energy Leadership Award,” PCToday, June 2, 2014,