SOUTHPOINTE (KDKA) — This may look like Texas but it’s really Washington County and a whole new class of workers are fast becoming roughnecks and roustabouts on drill sites.

The Western Career and Technology Center in Canonsburg is one of half dozen schools now offering training for work on a drill site.

After bouncing from odd job to odd job, former marine and father of three, Lucas Meston, says he’s finding a career.

“The capability of making some serious money is right there you just have to be willing to go after it,” he says.

Director Joe Ianetti says 95 percent of his graduates are getting work and making an immediate $70,000 to $80,000 a year.

“That’s good money. It’s hard work, but it’s good money,” he said.

The state Department of Commerce reports that Marcellus Shale industry hired 48,000 new employees last year — 71 percent of those Pennsylvanians. About 2,400 jobs are currently available.

Range Resources is building regional headquarters in Southpointe and is looking to hire.

They need all kinds of workers, including steelworkers, truck drivers, construction workers, carpenters and engineers.

When former marine Justin Nicolai returned home from Iraq, he thought he’d would have to leave the state for work until Range Resources offered him a job as water supervisor.

“It’s really been a nice weight off my shoulders being able to provide for my family and I really enjoy what I’m doing here,” Nicolai said.

On the subject of Marcellus Shale, emotions run high as environmentalists and supporters argue about the impact, but there’s no disputing fact that a lot of people are getting jobs in a region that have been looking for new jobs for quite some time.

Click the links below to find out what type of training is required, how to apply for a job and more!

  • Marcellus Shale Coalition Job Portal
  • Tri-County Oil & Gas Expo of Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties
  • Tri-County Oil & Gas 6/17 Job Fair Info
  • ShaleNET
  • Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center
  • Western Area Career & Technology Center’s Spring Brochure (WACTC offers a number of programs with direct employment connections for the Marcellus industry)
  • Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School (Steel Center AVTS offers a number of programs with direct employment connections for the Marcellus industry)
  • Watch & Listen LIVE