With the oil and gas boom in the area -- and no real formal training offered to prepare workers for the industry -- a new school, the Utica Shale Academy, will give students the tools they need to enter the workforce.
There students learn the growing industry and founders hope it will keep young graduates in the area. Open to any student in grades 9-12 in the state of Ohio, the academy serves a vocational school role. Students will graduate with one of two certificates -- a rig pass or a safety certificate in well management. Once completed, they will be able to step directly on the well pad and begin working.
"We started with certificate and job ready right out of high school," Dr. Chuck Kokiko of Jefferson County Education Service said. "We also have a strong program for those that want to get an associate's degree in an oil or gas-related field. And also we're exploring options for those kids who may want to be in a petroleum project or four-year degree program."
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