Commercial drivers are in short supply in Pennsylvania's oil-and-natural gas fields.
Energy industry representatives, along with the building trades, dominated a job fair in West Deer, Pa, last week, with a number of driver jobs on offer. Marissa Powell, a recruiter with Equipment Transport, based in Carlisle, was looking for people with CDL truck driver’s licenses and the right experience, according to local news outlet The Valley-News Dispatch.
Powell’s company works with Range Resources, which also attended the job fair and had 10 job openings to fill at its offices in Cecil Township, Washington County. While growth in natural gas has slowed, “There’s still a lot of well-paying, family sustaining jobs in this industry,” Mike Mackin, director of external affairs for Range, told the Dispatch.
Equipment Transport has more than 500 employees in several states, with about 200 in Pennsylvania, Powell said. She was looking for 10 to 15 people to drive water trucks, or, as they’re known in the industry, “water bottles.” The job pays $19 to $21 per hour, with 12-hour shifts, five days a week. The challenge Powell faces is getting applicants with the right experience — including a tanker endorsement, clean driving record and two years of experience.
Indeed, there are still plenty of high paying jobs to be found in Pennsylvania - even with little to no experience.
“We need to get more people to work for us,” she said. Falcon Drilling is another company working with Range, specializing in vertical drilling for wells. “It’s physical labour,” human resources manager Rachel Himes told the Dispatch.
“You’re constantly moving and out in the elements.” Work is 14 days on, then 14 days off. But, she said, “the pay is great.” With no experience or education, someone can be making up to $59,000 a year, plus benefits.
“I’m always hoping to find anybody, at any time,” she said. “It’s tough to fill the positions. It’s hard to find quality people.”