Things are looking brighter in the Ohio Valley for those hoping to break into the oil and gas industry.
Dominion Resources has approved a second grant for West Virginia Northern Community College. The grant means thousands of dollars worth of hands-on experience for students, and a chance for one of the biggest employers to tailor a well-trained workforce. It's an expensive program to offer, and it's still getting off the ground.
A $25,000 check from Dominion Resources will buy plenty of high-tech equipment for students training to work in the oil and gas industry. Officials say the money is an investment in the community, and will help local workers stay here in the state, snagging coveted jobs.
West Virginia Northern is one of two community colleges in the state to train workers in Petroleum Technology, using an outdoor drilling simulator at a training center in Fairmont. Now, both colleges will house indoor simulators too. With these new programs, Dominion foresees a shift in the makeup of their workforce, one that local workers have been pushing for, after seeing many out of state workers come to West Virginia to take those jobs.