Share This Page

WCCC's ShaleNET natural gas job training program receives national award

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Westmoreland County Community College's ShaleNET natural gas job training program was honored recently with a national award, a school official told trustees on Wednesday.

WCCC received a 2013 Exemplary Program Award for nine-credit programs from the National Council for Workforce Education. The council is an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Pat Gerity, WCCC's vice president of continuing education, workforce and community development, said he accepted the award in Milwaukee last week. He presented the small clear and blue glass etched statue to trustees at their monthly meeting.

WCCC was chosen from nine finalists for the award that especially recognized ShaleNET's innovation and partnerships with industry, Gerity said.

“We were a community college that stepped up to make an impact with a new industry,” Gerity said.

In 2010, WCCC led a consortium of educators and industry members to form ShaleNET, a program funded by a Department of Labor grant to train workers for a variety of entry-level jobs in the natural gas industry.

Students take courses in areas such as roustabout, floor hand and commercial driver's license.

Last fall, the college partnered with Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport for a second phase of ShaleNET funding that enabled the program to expand, develop a hybrid classroom and online curriculum, and create “stackable” credentials, putting students on a fast track to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree.

“This grant and (program officials') efforts really positioned WCCC in a leadership position,” WCCC President Daniel Obara said.

The program trained 978 students with 20 training providers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York from July 2010 through June.

ShaleNET placed graduates with more than 125 employers throughout the United States, according to the program's description in the award program.

Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or kandren@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.