CAMBRIDGE, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Cambridge today to outline a plan to train Ohioans for jobs in shale development and other high-growth industries. Brown visited Zane State College’s Willett Pratt Training Center and met with students training for jobs in the welding industry where he discussed his bipartisan Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would help unemployed workers train for high-growth jobs in their region. Brown has been working to connect Ohioans with jobs in the natural gas industry and on Thursday, he will co-host a jobs fair with Chesapeake Energy in Canton.
“Shale development has tremendous potential to bring new economic development and new jobs to our state. Not only do we have to protect our public safety and health, but we must make sure that these new jobs are going to Ohioans—not out-of-staters,” Brown said. “The SECTORS Act aligns worker training programs to the needs of industries—like shale development—that are creating jobs. It helps local communities, and educational institutions like the Zane State College, tailor workforce training to meet industry needs. Here in Guernsey County, the SECTORS Act would help the community make sure more workers are prepared for opportunities in shale development.”
Brown was joined by a student who is currently enrolled in the shale development training program as well as Zane State College President Paul Brown to outline how the SECTORS Act would help ensure that more Ohioans can get jobs in high-growth industries, including Ohio’s expanding shale and natural gas industry.
Zane State offers the training needed to fill the jobs in shale development and is the second college in the Appalachian region to offer the Safeland Training course required by every oil and gas company for its employees and contractors. Zane State offers courses like welding, oil and gas business programs, and accounting to ensure Ohio students are prepared.
Despite Ohio’s 7.6 percent unemployment rate, many employers in high-growth industries—which include solar energy, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare—struggle to find workers to fill job vacancies. The SECTORS Act tailors workforce development to the needs of regional industries, allowing more workers to receive placements and attracting more businesses to a given region. The bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry—businesses, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators—to develop plans for growing that industry.