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WVDE to Provide Career Technical Training in High Demand Skills

July 23, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is providing career technical education teachers the opportunity this week to gain skills that will help them better prepare their students for work in the oil and gas industries.

Prompted by demands of the Marcellas Shale gas reserve, the WVDE is offering training in downhill welding, a specific style of welding typically performed on thin, mild steel piping used in pipelines. Downhill welding provides faster welding but requires a different technique than the technique more commonly used for boiler piping.

“The discovery of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation has heightened the demand for skilled workers in the Appalachian region, including West Virginia,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “The discovery offers business and industry and education the opportunity to form a strong partnership to develop curriculum that prepares students with the right technical skills necessary for high skilled, high wage jobs. This training is one way we can help teachers and ultimately our students make the most of the economic benefits Marcellas Shale brings to our state.”

The training opportunity is available during the 2012 Summer Technical, Adult and Institutional Education Conference in Charleston. The two-day session will be taught Monday and Tuesday at Carver Career Center in Kanawha County by Ricky Peters, a certified welding inspector/instructor from Boone County Career and Technical Center. 

Corky Demarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association said, “It is a great CTE program when you can certify students in areas that give them access to meaningful careers in the oil and natural gas industry.”

Apex, Pipeline Services donated $3,000 of pipe to be used for the teacher training.  After passage of the certification test, instructors are qualified to certify their students in 6G SMAW and 6G GMAW downhill pipe welding. 

“There is a definite need for well-trained, qualified, young workers in our industry and we are happy to help in your efforts to get involved in finding an answer to that need,” said Kelly Moss, president and CEO of Apex, Pipeline Services.

Bureau of Labor statistics projections show that two-thirds of all new jobs will require some postsecondary education, including career technical education.

“The West Virginia Department of Education recognizes the important role career technical education plays in our state and our nation,” Marple said. “That’s one reason the WVDE is working with the oil and gas industries to provide credentials and skill training for a promising future.”

For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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