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Mansfield University Creates Marcellus Institute; Governor Corbett Praises MU

Publish Date: 3/26/2012

March 26, 2012

MANSFIELD, PA— Dr. Allan Golden, interim president of Mansfield University, has announced the formation of The Marcellus Institute at Mansfield University, An Academic/Shale Gas Partnership.

“The Institute, in conjunction with our core programs and mission, will strengthen, enhance, and sustain the long-term viability of the University,” Golden said.

He said that the Institute will work with all segments of the gas industry to help meet the educational needs of employees as well as developing academic programs to prepare MU students for careers in the field.

“The sustainability of the tremendous opportunities offered from shale gas development is dependent on meeting the educational and training needs of our first-class workforce,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said. “I applaud Mansfield University and its partners for launching this exciting new Institute.”

Lindsey Sikorski has been named interim director of the Institute. Sikorski previously served as director of Community Relations at the university.

“Lindsey’s past involvement, skill, and experience leading workforce development initiatives as well as her current relationship with industry and involvement with the ShaleNET (workforce) grant program make her an ideal candidate for this position,” Golden said. He added that the SeaTrax safety training program taught on campus through Sikorski’s department has now trained almost 5,000 gas and oil workers for Shell from areas throughout the U.S.

Louis D’Amico, executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), lauded the university’s direction. “Through The Marcellus Institute, Mansfield University is developing highly relevant, focused and sustainable programs to bolster an educated workforce so necessary to supply the rapidly expanding oil and gas sector.”

D’Amico added that PIOGA, through the subject matter expertise of its 1,000 member companies, “looks forward continuing to support Mansfield University and its partner institutions in this wonderful collaborative effort.”

"Please accept my sincere and enthusiastic thanks for allowing me to be a part of the team that spearheaded the creation of The Marcellus Institute,” State Representative Matt Baker said. “Thank you also for all the hard work and vision of Mansfield University to offer new and exciting educational opportunities for students preparing to work in the energy industry. It makes great sense that Mansfield University should be the pre-eminent state university that provides students with exceptional and qualified educational credentials to enter high paying jobs locally and throughout the region and Commonwealth since Tioga and Bradford Counties are the top two counties in Pennsylvania with the most Marcellus natural gas wells in the state.”

“I am pleased that Mansfield University is working with leaders of the Marcellus Shale industry to provide necessary educational programs to further advance the job opportunities in this field,” Senator Joe Scarnati stated. “Without question, this is of great benefit to the working families and job creators in this region.”

The Institute is also endorsed by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). “Members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition are committed to providing family-sustaining jobs for Pennsylvania workers helping to produce American energy,” said MSC President Kathryn Z. Klaber. “Over the last several years, educational institutions across the Commonwealth have taken the lead in establishing programs that respond to the market demand for a well-trained local workforce prepared for jobs in the natural gas industry and its broad supply chain. The Marcellus Institute at Mansfield University is a critical partnership leveraging the strengths of industry experts, the University, and other workforce training stakeholders in the Northern Tier on behalf of men and women seeking fulfilling careers in our safe, sustainable, and dynamic industry.”

The Institute is being formed at the same time the university is proposing new associate and bachelor’s degree programs that will prepare graduates for the fast growing gas and gas-related industries, Golden said.

The proposed programs include an associate degree program in Natural Gas Production and Services offered through the Geography & Geology Department, and a bachelor’s degree program in Safety Management offered through the Health Sciences Department. Both are programs that gas industry leaders indicated are needed in the field, both in the Marcellus Shale region and across the country.

“The Institute,” Baker added “compliments the already highly successful Geology Department whose graduates have been moving directly into full employment with the gas industry.”

“These proposed programs and the Marcellus Shale Institute are a direct response to industry needs,” Golden said. “As a public liberal arts institution in the heart of Marcellus Shale, Mansfield University is in a unique position to continue to develop programs that prepare our students for a variety of careers in this burgeoning industry.”

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