By Marc Kovac
Companies that hire Ohioans trained for oil- and gas-industry jobs through state-backed programs would have to employ those workers for at least three years under legislation introduced in the Ohio Senate.
Sen. Capri Cafaro of Liberty, D-32nd, said Senate Bill 12 would ensure that residents benefit from eastern Ohio’s growing oil fields and the resulting new jobs.
“I’m very pleased to see that there’s a lot of discussion about work-force development in this General Assembly,” Cafaro told members of the Senate’s Workforce and Economic Development Committee. “I do hope that we really focus on the oil and gas components of our economy.”
Cafaro offered sponsor testimony on the legislation before the lawmaker panel Tuesday.
SB 12 would require well owners who hire Ohioans who have graduated from state-funded oil and gas training programs to retain the new employees for at least three years.
The bill would provide $10 million in casino funds for such programs housed at community or technical colleges for grants to train workers.
Owners taking advantage of the program also would have to ensure at least one-fourth of their employees are Ohio residents.
“As the oil and gas industry continues to expand within our state, we need to be sure that Ohioans are aware and have access to the job opportunities that come along with that growth,” Cafaro said. “This bill will ensure that Ohio’s citizens have those opportunities.”