Ten students, selected by an application process from a wide variety of SCCTC programs, are now taking also taking an introductory college-level course at SCCTC.
George Stark, of Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., said the program offering is unique to SCCTC and the School of PNG. “It’s to get folks in high school interested and engaged in the energy business,” he said.
Stark told the 10 students on Wednesday, “The jobs are there. The wages are there. We want to put programs like this together for the next generation. The issue is what do you see for you.”
“If you look anywhere else, you wouldn’t see this opportunity. You get to be the pioneers, The opportunity is here,” Stark said. He also said they want to hear feedback from the students on what works and what doesn’t. “There will be people stepping behind you,”
School of PNG Program Director Jeannine Barrett said that SCCTC cultivates a “perfect fit” of students for the program by cultivating a level of interest and work ethic.
State Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-111th, told the students they were being given an opportunity to achieve the American dream with community partners helping stave off some of the college costs.
Stark said the program is designed to break preconceived notions of the energy industry and learn about its complexities – from geological formations to the end product avenues to the consumer market. “It’s a comprehensive overview,” he said.
SCCTC Executive Director Alice Davis said students can see if they are a “correct fit” with the natural gas industry. If the students succeed in the class, they can then continue on at Lackawanna College. “This is a starting point,” she said, “to see at a level in high school if this is something they want to pursue.”
She also said SCCTC had “safety nets” in place for students and offers up its resources to the students – past and present.
The credit offering cuts down on the time students would spend in the college program – and their cost to attend.
Sue Gumble will be teaching the class (PNG 105) at SCCTC; she is also the class instructor at the School of PNG.