An Industry-Driven Program

Barnett Shale Means Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The Barnett Shale - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs for Northern Texas


The Barnett Shale — Jobs, Jobs, Jobs for Northern Texas

Business activities associated with the North Central Texas oil and gas industry have accelerated dramatically with development of the Barnett Shale natural gas field—one of the largest natural gas fields in North America and the largest in the state of Texas.

Improved recovery techniques and high gasoline prices this decade facilitated increased drilling activity in the region, and that has substantially increased job opportunities for those with the right kind of training.

The Barnett Shale accounts for 55,385 permanent jobs in the 14-county region. The total effect on business activity includes $5.1 billion in annual output (Perryman Impact Study).

From a regional perspective, despite state and national numbers that indicate a downturn in oil and gas employment, there will be a positive change in employment rates for Cooke and Montague counties and the entire North Central Texas College service area. For Cooke and Montague counties, there will be a +6.61% change in the number of jobs in the oil and gas industry by 2017. The NCTC service area will see a +8.05% change in jobs in the oil and gas industry (CC Benefits, Inc.). Barnett Shale has resulted for Cooke and Montague counties in real gross product gains totaling $435 million and $136 million respectively. Further, 4,794 Cooke County jobs are linked to Barnett Shale, while an additional 1,657 jobs will impact Montague County. (Perryman Impact Study).

North Central Texas College is aligned with three Workforce Development Boards (WBD) – Texoma, North Texas and North Central – all who have identified Petroleum Technology as a targeted industry for North Texas in 2007. This trend is expected to continue well into the next decade. Further, the Energy Industry is cited by the Texas Workforce Commission as a cluster with demand growth.

A consortium of energy industry organizations, in an effort to increase labor pool capacity for the North Texas oil and gas industry, requested an alliance with North Central Texas College to provide educational programs. Representatives of 14 organizations—including industry partners Complete Production Services (CPS); EnCana U.S.A., Inc.; and Energy Service Company of Bowie—have worked closely together with North Central Texas College and advistory board members to identify critical needs. Employers expressed a substantial need to increase the existing labor pool for oil and gas industry technicians, as well as providing advanced cross-training topics for incumbent workers. Respondents to need assessment surveys stated that new employees are consistently required, while 1,177 additional workers would be needed by 2013. In addition, these organizations are in dire need of commercial drivers, with a need to fill 200 anticipated vacancies in the next five years.

This group of employers alone support a substantial labor pool in Montague, Cooke, Wise, Denton, Tarrant, Parker, Hood, Jack and Grayson counties—with a prominent payroll. CPS is the largest single employer in Cooke County with 2,200. Energy Service Company of Bowie is one of the top employers in Montague County with more than 250 employees. EnCana employs 1,600 workers within the USA, with 300 of those located in Texas and specifically 45 in the North Texas Area.

Program graduates with no prior field experience in the oil and gas industry experience would enter core jobs such as Floor Hands with anticipated annual salaries of $40,000. Those already in the field who have moved progressively up job tiers have the wage capacity for $95,000 as Tool Pushers. Additional education at the university level will allow movement into roles including upper level management.