Friday, September 27, 2013

Shale Gas Jobs Impact - Not Always Big-Time News, Signficant Nonetheless

Utica Shale's Shadow and Marcellus Shale's Proximity Drive Job Growth
- Small town America, New Castle PA

I was struck recently by a headline from my hometown newspaper, the New Castle News. New Castle PA lies just across the Eastern Ohio State line, a stones throw away from Ohio's Utica Shale sweet spot and on the fringe of Marcellus Shale activity.

The newspaper headline reads "Shale gas valve facility to create 25 new jobs." New Castle is one of those small towns that steadily lost population and jobs over the decades. The city saw a peak population of 48,834 back in 1950 and the population stood at 23,273 in 2010. Each decade that past witnessed a decline. Downtown New Castle remains partially shuttered. Jobs and people have steadily exited over the years. Old timers, a group that I am not too long from joining, remind others of a once more vibrant and active city.

After pursuing a degree in Geology, I was one of those that left New Castle and now call Houston TX home, but I have a lot of family in Western PA and Eastern Ohio and I get back as often as I can to visit, hike trails, enjoy nature, drive country roads, and enjoy small town culture.

When a small company moves into an area like New Castle PA, and 25 new jobs are forthcoming, this is BIG news. An employer is moving in compared do the many that have left. Shale gas jobs, and any jobs, are a ray of hope to the area. And those 25 jobs will support even more and pump money into the local economy. Let's all count our blessings that God has given us with something underfoot.