Leaders See Job Growth from Shale

There were about 9,100 people unemployed in the Valley in July. And likely that number will rise when the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry releases its August unemployment figures for Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. Some have said the future of employment in the Valley might lay underground, in the form of natural gas. Companies tapping the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation 5,000 to 8,000 feet down estimated to contain tril lions of cubic feet of natural gas, are hiring.

“They’re good-paying jobs,” said Sue Snyder, administrator of the Pennsylvania CareerLink office in Selinsgrove. The problem: The bulk of the 150 jobs available are in counties many miles away, such as Lycoming, Tioga and Bradford. A single job related to natural gas drilling — a tractor-trailer driver for JP Donmoyer — is in Northumberland County. “Most people tell us they don’t want to travel more than 20 minutes from home,” Snyder said. “But with the number of factories closing, they’re having to travel farther, and they’re not used to that mindset.”

As the economy goes through its slow growth pangs, that mindset likely will have to change.  Click here to view article (PDF).