Published May 30, 2012
The Mahoning Valley is positioned to benefit greatly in terms of job creation as the shale boom commences. These new jobs can be broken into four classifications: drilling operations, supply chain production, supply chain transportation, and ancillary support positions. Drilling operations jobs refer to rig operators, to land men that get leases signed, to injection well operators. Many of these jobs are currently being performed by workers experienced in the industry and many are imported into the area to perform this specialized work. Supply chain production jobs are related to the manufacturing of supplies and tools needed to facilitate drilling and brine disposal operations. The most widely reported example in the valley is V&M Steel expansion project, which supplies steel pipe used in horizontal well drilling. V&M has stated they will create roughly 350 new manufacturing jobs once this expansion is complete. Exterran Energy Solutions LP of Houston is expected to create a new manufacturing facility on Salts Springs Road. Exterran is expected to employ 400 to 500 workers. These are but two examples. Many supply chain production jobs are filled by Valley residents with specialized, technical and manufacturing skills. Supply chain transportation jobs are primarily those related to trucking. The pipes, fittings, rigs and tools all need to make it to and from the drill sites. In addition, the water, chemicals, and well product must also come to and from drill sites. This greatly increases the need for drivers and logistics support personal in our area. Finally, ancillary support positions are harder to define but actually are the most abundant jobs created by the shale boom surrounding the Mahoning Valley. All of these workers need to eat, sleep, (hopefully) bath and shower. If they move their families and pets into our area, they will need to educate their children. The entire family will need to see doctors when they are sick and visit hospitals for more severe injuries and illnesses. Many will seek entertainment and shop in our stores. In addition to all of this economic activity that creates and maintains jobs throughout our valley, the skilled tradesmen who perform the building of the manufacturing plants and who maintain our roads to support the transportation industry also must be considered. Even government jobs will increase to support this new industry. Police, fire, zoning, ODNR well inspectors, and street and sanitary sewer expansion is all possible.
Recently, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce calculated 11 new shale related projects yielding 996 new jobs, and 698 retained jobs for the years 2010 thru 2012. These jobs are a direct result of a $755,275,000 investment that was made during the same time period. As verification of these new jobs, it was recently reported in the Vindicator that unemployment rates for Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties collectively decreased from 9.7 percent in April 2011 to 7.9 percent for April 2012. The total number of unemployed was down by 5,000 to 20,800. This was a net gain of 2,100 jobs according to Ohio labor-market information provided by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The exact number of jobs will directly reflect the amount of drilling activity that occurs in the Eastern Ohio. Estimates of the number of wells vary greatly, depending on the source. This blog plans to drill down and follow up on the jobs created as a result of the upcoming shale boom. Stay tuned and feel free to contact me with updates and real-life testimonials if you are a recipient of one or more of these new jobs.