Senator Portman hosts oil and gas development jobs fair - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Senator Portman hosts oil and gas development jobs fair

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - Full-time jobs with benefits were being offered Friday at an oil and gas development job fair in Boardman.

Organizers were anticipating close to a thousand people at the jobs fair. As the shale boom continues to expand, more and more companies are looking for qualified workers.

"We've got 27 companies here, all of whom are looking for workers and it's everything from administrative help, engineers and between that mechanics and truck drivers," says U.S. Senator Rob Portman.

People say they like the job fair atmosphere because the companies here are ready to hire.

"Whatever they have available that I might qualify for so it's a good opportunity for me," says Anthony Gibson of Youngstown.

Senator Portman and the Chamber of Commerce say wells and drilling is only the start of shale development and more jobs will follow.

"These are companies that feel this investment is going to be for decades to come, so this is a long term play," says Eric Planey with the Regional Chamber of Commerce. "And they 're expecting 120,000 jobs within the next several years, so this is a growth industry."

That is encouraging for people like Nicholas Roope, a recent college graduate looking to start a career.

"To see that a lot of companies in Ohio in the oil and gas industry are actually growing ...  that's good news for me being a geology major," Roope says.

The job fair also included more than a dozen educational and job-retraining institutions where people can obtain the desired skills and certifications.

Senator Portman says the goal is to put more Ohioans to work instead of workers being imported from other states.

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