Shale Energy Institute: Delivering Jobs

By On January 31, 2014 9:30 am

By: Kristie Kubovic, Director of Communications, Shale Media Group

Edited By: Chris Stroyne, Editor, Shale Media Group

The shale, oil and gas industry has grown by leaps and bounds in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia in the past few years. This surge has helped the region economically, from the creation of jobs to the increased need for services both directly related to the energy industry and indirectly related through ancillary services. One area with the largest demand for employees is trucking.

seiThe Shale Energy Institute (SEI) is filling that need by offering CDL Class A training along with specialized natural gas training. “Tailored toward the local energy industy, the goal of SEI is to teach and effectively train CDL Licensing for equipment transportation, while emphasizing shale, oil and natural gas technologies and on-site safety through a two-part class,” explained Cory Wilbanks, President, Shale Energy Institute.

The CDL Class A training involves the areas of: trip planning and logging; air brake and pre-trip; coupling and uncoupling; alley dock, blindside parallel and driver-side parallel; and shifting procedures. In addition, there will be road time with hands-on practice. Plus, students will take the CDL Class A Test to become certified.

As for the shale, oil and natural gas portion of the class, students will analyze the topics of: the history of natural gas drilling; the reservoir; the contents of the reservoir; ownership of mineral rights and lease agreements; the three methods of reaching the hydrocarbon resource through use of heavy-duty ground moving equipment, a large chisel-shaped device to punch a hole and rotating a bit on a shaft; rig components; logging, testing and completing; reservoir fluid categories; primary, secondary and tertiary production; field processing; and remedial operations. In addition, students will look at who’s involved in shale, oil and gas production, along with strategies for helping companies become successful shale, oil and gas producers.

Wilbanks says, “With the CDL and natural gas portions of the class, we could offer a two-in-one employee by providing both the transport and work aspects of the industry. It is a more inclusive program, and we recommend the full eight weeks of training.” However, if a student is only interested in specific topics or if they’ve had previous training, they can pick specific classes to take. Even if a student isn’t interested in the shale, oil and gas industry and is looking more at over-the-road trucking, they could just take the CDL part and obtain state licensing. The school uses curriculums approved by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) and trains using the Smith System. “This alone gives the student the ability to work for any trucking company across the country, literally hundreds of companies,” explained Wilbanks.

Photo Provided By: Mustang Oilfield Services LLC

Photo Provided By: Mustang Oilfield Services LLC

Additionally, when you add in the natural gas portion of the class, a student’s potential job prospects increase considerably. Natural gas transportation, sand hauling, wire live technician, well technician and pipeline work all become options. Wilbanks informed, “The class is skewed towards jobs, and we have more jobs than we know what to do with, close to 1,000 job orders.”

In addition to a job, students can expect nice, competitive starting salaries of over $75,000, according to Wilbanks. The growth of the shale, oil and gas industry in this region has created a demand for workers, which in turn has yielded an increase in salaries. Wilbanks pointed to a Range Resources report that says every year there is a 16 percent salary increase for gas workers, while the national average is around 1.5 percent.

Shale Energy Institute is located in Bentleyville, PA just off of Interstate 70 in the heart of shale, oil and gas country. There are still some openings available for the sessions that begin on February 17th and March 17th. For full training, students meet from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday for eight weeks. Shale Energy Institute is open to men and women across the region, whether they’re fresh out of high school or looking for a career change later in life.

“If anyone is interested in the class, signs up for it and puts in the effort, we’ll work with everyone to make sure they graduate,” explained Wilbanks. Plus, student loans are available. Wilbanks says, “SEI even offers self-funding as an investment in the community. If students can’t get credit, we can help.”

Through natural gas technologies and an emphasis on equipment transportation, Shale Energy Institute trains a required workforce of safe drivers with effective knowledge in the shale, oil and gas industry. Due to the development of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, demand for these types of graduates has been on the rise to meet the needs of shale, oil and gas industry activities. If anyone would like more information on the program or to enroll, call 1-855-4GASJOBS, go to or email or


Shale Media Group (SMG) is a news, information, education and mapping resource dedicated to the shale, oil and gas industries by messaging across video, Internet, publications, events and radio. For more, check out to access all platforms, including:, The,, and Kristie Kubovic is the Director of Communications at Shale Media Group. Contact her at