The oil and gas industry has jumped to the forefront of the West Virginia economy in recent years, and the president of the Independent Oil and Gas Association identified the main factor to continuing that trend.
"The key to our success is having a good workforce of qualified people," Dennis Xander said Thursday at the West Virginia Oil and Gas Equipment Show at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Xander said the West Virginia Independent Oil and Gas Association was working on a plan to educate young adults in preparation to work in the industry, and officials came up with a way to do so. IOGA created the Thomas Dunn Energy and Leadership Academy, where high school students from all over the state could gather to get a glimpse into opportunities that await them in that profession.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Dusty James, right, of Terra Services LLC, explains how the green technology utilized by this trailer helps to disinfect, clean and store ponds and water used in hydrofracking wells during Thursday’s West Virginia Oil and Gas Equipment Show at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Xander said the students spent time in the classroom, learning about all of the aspects of the industry. Another day was spent touring wells, mines and service agencies, all with the intent of explaining how the industry works and what types of employment it can offer.
"We are grooming them to be in the energy industry," Xander said.
The Academy was held in conjunction with the annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Equipment Show at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Those in attendance could get a glimpse at the latest trends and technology available to energy companies.