BEAVER CO. (KDKA) — The long awaited cracker plant to be built by Shell is expected to bring thousands of jobs to Beaver County. But in order for this economic boom to pay off, we need a workforce that is trained, and ready.
Shell has sunk hundreds of millions into the project site, to make way for the $2 billion plant. Governor Wolf came to Monaca Thursday afternoon to talk about how many jobs will be created and how to keep them local.
Construction will begin in roughly a year on the 340 acres on the bank of the Ohio River set aside for the cracker plant.
The area is looking forward to the potential explosion in job opportunity.
“Here in Monaca, can only help,” said Brad Stanisic.
The prospect of 6,000 construction jobs, including hundreds of permanent ones, is welcome.
“It’s probably going to be the biggest explosion of opportunity that we’ve had the valley for 50,60 years,” Stanisic said.
Governor Tom Wolf said he’s going to do everything he can to keep the jobs local.
The challenge of filling those jobs with qualified local workers brought the governor to Penn State Beaver for a round table discussion with local stake-holders. Wolf explained that keeping jobs local relied on proper training.
Beaver County Community College is coordinating with others in the region to supply high-skilled job training.
However, this return to industrialization has a down side, including traffic, displacement and air pollution.
James Sabisiak, of the University of Pittsburgh, said emissions from the plant will equal that of 36,000 cars.
“By Shell’s own numbers, of what they’re saying will be released, it’s equal to 36,000 cars traveling 12,000 miles a year in that county,” he said.
He hopes both ends of the spectrum can work together to reach a mutual agreement.