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New program partners education organizations with oil and gas companies to fill job gaps

Permian Strategic Partnership is teaming oil and gas companies with education organizations to fill gaps in the workforce.
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 8:20 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Permian Strategic Partnership is teaming oil and gas companies with education organizations to fill gaps in the workforce.

The Catalyst Workforce Development program is in the early stages of the project, but it’s been in the works for over a year.

Phase one of the project includes collecting data from oil and gas companies about the highest demand jobs - and then figuring out how to teach skills for those jobs.

PetroSkills - an oil and gas skill training company - and the University of Texas Petroleum Extension are working together to align the needs of the industry with what’s taught in school.

“Our main goal is to make sure people who grow up here, live here, part of the community have the training and skills that they need to successful and stay here,” said PSP director of education and workforce initiatives, Molly Young.

After a challenging year for oil and gas, the launch of the Catalyst project is bringing renewed energy to the industry.

“I think there’s so much energy right now around the industry coming back up and recovering from COVID and all the economic impacts that happened in the last year. This is a great thing to rally around where we can both our industry and education partners together to work on something meaningful,” said Young.

The Catalyst project will involve K-12 school districts and community colleges, and four-year universities in the Permian Basin.

Young says she hopes the young people of this community will see this as an investment in their futures and encourage them to stay here and work.

“We can’t build a strong community if we don’t provide the tools and resources to the people that live here in order to get them there. To me, this is just a great way to get us all back in high gear, get us moving all in the same direction, and really get education and industry talking to each other,” said Young.

The Catalyst program is the first of its kind here in the Basin, and Young says she hopes it will develop future oil and gas industry leaders.

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