WARREN - A local technical center says people who want to work in the oil and gas drilling industry have more options.
The Trumbull Career and Technical Center is offering new classes to teach students the necessary skills to get high-paying jobs in the shale industry, as well as local manufacturing jobs.
"This is kind of a whole new scope on this that we never had before," said industrial training coordinator George Carney.
Classes include those on a high school level as well as adult education, and TCTC has collaborated with adult programs in Columbiana and Mahoning counties to help come up with a curriculum that is consistent across the board. This will help ensure students receive the same type of training, said adult education director Vicki L. Thompson.
She also said TCTC is the first post-secondary school to offer classes in the oil and gas industry, and many programs also include certification recognized by the industry.
The new classes offered in January are manufacturing and machining classes for adults and manufacturing technology and computer networking in forensics for high school students.
If you go
WHAT: TCTC Adult Training Open House
WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Trumbull Career and Technical Center, Adult Training Center
FOR MORE: Call 330-847-0503, Ext. 1600, or visit www.TCTCAdultTraining.org
"Our role is to let students know that there are jobs," said TCTC director Jason Gray. "The more well-rounded these students are, the more employable they are."
Carney said machinists are in the highest demand, followed by tool and die makers and industrial electricians.
"They think manufacturing is dead, and it's not. Students quit taking the machining program. Now, all of a sudden, everybody wants machinists," Gray explained.
Carney said welders are also in demand, with the school's welding lab likely to be full in January.
TCTC is hosting an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, where attendees will be able to tour the center and meet with instructors and gather information about adult training classes offered in 2013 as well as other information, such as how to apply for financial aid.
Thompson said financial aid in the form of grants and loans is available for both traditional students as well as displaced or unemployed workers, such as former employees of RG Steel and Hostess Brands.
Carney said workers who find themselves suddenly without employment after years of experience may simply need additional training to expand their skill sets.
Starr Manufacturing in Vienna frequently works with TCTC and other area institutions to seek out qualified employees as well as further training for current hires, said vice president Dale Foester.
"They're kind of on speed dial," Foester laughed.
She said qualified machinists are always in demand, and Starr is always looking for laborers who have proven skills and dependability. Other workers Starr hires include programmers, industrial and process engineers, pipefitters and pipefitter welders, press break operators, burning table operators and individuals who are trained on software programs such as Blueprint and AutoCad.
"If a good person comes along, we like to place them here," Foester said.
The majority of classes at TCTC are offered in the evening, mostly due to the fact that teachers are still employed in the industry, Carney said. Career-enhancement classes also are offered, and the school works with local employers to provide additional training for workers.
There still are openings for classes in January and February for students who want to register.