Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shale Development in the Valley Equals Big Gains in Jobs and Investment

Since 2010, the Mahoning Valley and adjacent areas have seen nearly 4,000 direct and indirect jobs created from shale development and an investment of more than $5 billion, according to information compiled by the Regional Chamber.

“The people of the Valley have embraced the oil and gas industry because they have seen a significant turnaround in our economy — much of it from shale development and the growth of its supply chain,” said Tom Humphries, president & CEO of the Regional Chamber.

The Chamber has counted 25 job creation and investment projects related to the oil and gas industry since 2010, when Vallourec Star first announced they would build a new stainless steel pipe mill in the Youngstown-Girard area that would serve the growing Marcellus and Utica shale development.

Vallourec ultimately spent more than $1 billion on the new advanced manufacturing facility that provides 350 direct jobs and about 1,800 indirect jobs.

The list of oil and gas-related projects includes 10 companies that announced supply chain expansion or attraction projects; six companies expanding or establishing new service operations for the industry; five significant pipeline/processing plant projects; and four investments by oil and gas producing companies. The listing doesn’t include the many hundreds and thousands of construction jobs that have been created for the various shale-related projects.

Since the announcements of jobs and investment in the Valley began in 2010, the Metro area’s jobless rate has fallen from more than 13 percent to about 8 percent.

“Most of the jobs being created in our area are permanent, good-paying jobs. We have seen our area become a strong manufacturing and industrial center again that has caught the attention of business people and the news media around the U.S. and the world,” Humphries said.

He added, “It’s amazing to me that we still have a small segment of our population, the anti-oil and gas people, making false statements that the industry is not generating jobs in the Valley. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ve got to stop these people in their tracks when they continue to make ridiculous statements like that,” Humphries said.

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