FAIRMONT, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, joined by Community and Technical College System of West Virginia Chancellor Jim Skidmore, today announced the establishment of the Appalachian Petroleum Technology Training Center in Fairmont. The Center will address the growing workforce needs of the oil and gas industry within the State and provide training opportunities for individuals who are interested in working in the field.
"This new Center, and its hands-on curriculum, will better prepare West Virginians for the highly-skilled, good-paying jobs needed to meet the demand of our growing oil and gas industry," Gov. Tomblin said. "I'm thankful for the industry's collaboration during the development of this much-needed program and look forward to congratulating the first class of graduates."
Through joint programs offered by Pierpont Community and Technical College (Pierpont CTC) and West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC), the Appalachian Petroleum Technology Training Center will focus on delivering a Certificate of Applied Science (C.A.S.) in Petroleum Technology, an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Petroleum Technology, and specific customized training programs to address the industry's work force training demands. The Center is a result of collaboration between the higher education institutions and the oil and gas industry.
"From the beginning, the Appalachian Petroleum Technology Training Center project has been a prime example of collaboration between industry, government, and education leaders," said Charlie Burd, Executive Director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV).
"Having business and industry involved in the curriculum and facility planning gives us confidence that graduates will have the skills and hands-on training needed for industry careers," said Corky Demarco, Executive Director for the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA). "Having more skilled workers will make West Virginia even more attractive to industries that operate in this highly competitive regional market."
A key feature of the Center will be the indoor and outdoor drilling simulation laboratories which will provide hands-on training for its students. Both Pierpont CTC and WVNCC campuses will be equipped with indoor drilling simulators and will deliver collaborative training on the outdoor drilling simulator located in Fairmont.
"This effort would not be possible without the ongoing dedication and support from the oil and gas industry and community college leadership," said Jim Skidmore, Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS). "Because of our collective efforts in developing these programs, many more West Virginians will now be able to access an education that leads to high-paying, high-skilled jobs in the State."
Pierpont CTC and WVNCC are currently accepting applications for the training programs and classes are scheduled to begin in August 2013 with the first students graduating from the program in May 2014.
Amy Shuler Goodwin or Brian Bolyard
304-558-4977 or 304-558-0265