Goal is careers, not just jobs, company official says

Date: February 28, 2011

STEVE MOCARSKY smocarsky@timesleader.com

When Chesapeake\’s first rigs began arriving in Bradford County about two years ago, the company had 38 local employees, according to David Fisher, the company\’s vice president of drilling services.

“And when I say local, I mean Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, working in this Northern District for Chesapeake. As of today, we have 225,” Fisher said.

One of the company\’s goals is to see those numbers increase, especially for Pennsylvanians. And, he emphasized on Thursday before a tour of a subsidiary Nomac Drilling\’s new employee training and housing facility near Sayre, the jobs are life- and family-sustaining.

It\’s possible that someone new to the industry with a high school diploma but no prior experience can complete the training program and start working in the region on drill rigs making between $55,000 and $60,000 a year, Fisher said.

“What we\’re trying to do as much as anything else through our training and through our presence here, is to build careers, not just jobs,” he said.

Fisher said it takes time and experience for employees to move into supervisory positions. “Our goal right now through the training is to be able to develop fast-track paths to be able to get people into supervisory roles and get them in higher-paying roles as much as we can,” he said.

Fisher also noted that as of February, Chesapeake employed 56 Pennsylvanians on area rigs; as of Thursday, employees from Pennsylvania number 156.

“Our goal is to continue on that path and increase as fast as we can to get more and more locals, more Pennsylvanians working in the area. We\’re very committed to that,” Fisher said.

Brian Grove, senior director of corporate development at Chesapeake, said the training and housing facility represents “Chesapeake\’s commitment to continuing the growth here and making it more and more local. We may be headquartered in Oklahoma, but we\’re very much a Pennsylvania company.”

Retired Bradford County Sheriff Steve Evans, who went to work for Chesapeake as senior security officer in February, said he believes the training and housing facility is “living proof” that Chesapeake is “a company that really cares about minimizing the impact of a major, major operation – the harvesting of Marcellus Shale.”

“This is a substantial financial commitment to the community. We have housing issues here. There\’s not enough housing. So this company invested a great amount of resources in building a very nice part of our community,” Evans said.

And, he said, the men and women who work for TriCorps Security at the facility are current or retired law enforcement officers from the local community.

“I know their personal stories, folks. I know that this has been a real blessing. Law enforcement officers don\’t get paid a tremendous amount of money, and Chesapeake/Nomac has had no problem providing professional law enforcement officers, in exchange for their efforts, financial means to help their families in these trying times,” Evans said.


Steve Mocarsky, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 970-7311.


Copyright: Times Leader

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Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.