George Stark, Cabot’s director of external affairs, talks to PA Live’s Haley Bianco about Cabot’s community outreach, support of education, and workforce development.
In Pennsylvania, where Cabot’s operations are located, the oil and gas industry accounts for more than 320,000 jobs.
Cabot supports programs that ensure students have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers are vital to our future, especially in the energy industry.
Read about some of the educational programs in which Cabot is involved:
The MOLU, or Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit, is a traveling exhibition that teaches students in grades 5-8 about the science, technology, and careers related to the oil and natural gas industry through hands-on, educational activities.
For the last two years, Cabot, Williams and Southwestern Energy sponsored the MOLU as it traveled to Pennsylvania and visited dozens of different schools across the northeastern part of the state.
Due to its popularity, Cabot joined Williams, Southwestern Energy, Shell, and Schlumberger to help fund the creation of a brand new MOLU to be permanently stationed in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and used in schools throughout the region. Recently, the MOLU has visited its first school in West Virginia and additional schools across Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
Cabot also supports the OEC and Junior Achievement as they collaborate with schools for STEM & Energy Teacher Workshops to acquaint teachers and administrators with the educational components needed for employment in the natural gas industry.
Click here to read more about the MOLU.
Located in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania, the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas (LCPNG) is an ideal partner to support the growth of work-ready local residents for the region’s petroleum and natural gas firms. In addition to collaborating on curriculum and supporting lectures, field trips and intern opportunities, Cabot created a $2.5 million endowment for LCPNG scholarships, equipment, curriculum development and long-term needs.
The school offers four associate’s degree programs in the field: petroleum and natural gas technology, natural gas compression technology, petroleum and natural gas measurement, and petroleum and natural gas business administration. The curriculum is revised every year to align with what the industry needs at the moment. Learning from the industry perspective gives students a significant career advantage – nearly 100 percent of students who are actively seeking employment after graduation find it in the oil and gas industry – and more than 70 percent of the school’s graduates are hired by major oil and gas companies.
“Our partnership with Cabot enhances tremendously the ability of the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas to provide a world-class education designed to prepare a ready workforce that fits the needs of the multiple companies across the industry,” said college President Mark Volk. “Beyond just an investment in Lackawanna College, through this collaborative effort, Cabot is making an investment in our students and our community.”
Since the creation of the endowment with LCPNG, Cabot has accepted summer interns from Lackawanna College to gain real-world knowledge of the industry. Interns are paired with field operators who mentor the students and facilitate the hands-on experience that is so valuable to the learning process. This also gives Cabot a unique opportunity to gauge the students who will be graduating from Lackawanna and have a basis to make hiring decisions.
In 2016, a pilot program was established between LCPNG and Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC). This Pipeline Program allowed for 11th and 12th graders to take college-level courses specific to the curriculum of LCPNG and receive college credit while attending school at SCCTC. Cabot covered the costs associated with these courses, such as equipment, materials and text books used by students and faculty. During the first year, 10 students participated in the program. The program will be expanded to additional career and technology centers in the near future.
Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC)
Cabot supports the Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) in their goal to create a highly skilled workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the integration of school, employment, and training processes.
The NTIEC’s vision is to ensure that area industries are maintaining their competitive edge. Credit goes to the workforce which is highly skilled, adaptable to changing needs, and committed to excellence. Employment candidates come with solid basic skills in reading, writing, math, science, and communications. They also understand how to solve problems and make decisions. They take individual initiative, demonstrate high integrity, and work well in teams.
The best and brightest students are gearing toward careers with area employers. They have a good understanding of career opportunities, are studying hard to compete for the available openings, and employers are making better recruiting decisions.
Because schools and colleges have a good understanding of business’ requirements and opportunities, innovative educational systems are available in the area. This results in better prepared, more work-ready prospective employees. Most talented youth from the area are employed in local businesses and no longer feel they have to leave for good careers.
Programs funded by the NTEIC can be found here.