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Appalachian talent plays key role in Deep Well Services' workforce development
Pittsburgh-based oilfield services company teams with Energy Innovation Center
By: Deep Well Services
That statistic is no coincidence. The Pittsburgh-based oilfield services company has implemented a plan to find and train regional workers in the most efficient and innovative procedures and techniques.
DWS also partners with the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in Pittsburgh to develop talent.
"Nearly 60 percent of DWS staff is Appalachian based, and we're drawing local talent everywhere we can," said John Sabo, Chief Operating Officer of DWS. "We're developing local. We're training local. We're also working with other companies, such as Chevron, and other organizations and groups to bring more opportunity for workforce development. We want local workers to gain opportunity with other companies, too."
Established in 2008, DWS has adapted and implemented innovative strategies to counter a downturn in the oil and gas industry. DWS, which specializes in the completion of Marcellus and Utica wells, recently was named Pittsburgh's fastest growing company in the energy category and the region's ninth fastest-growing company, according to The Pittsburgh Business Times.
DWS also received international recognition for its role in the completion of the record-breaking, 18,544-feet lateral Purple Hayes liquid rich natural gas well in Guernsey County, Ohio, earlier this year.
Such accomplishments have been made possible through the work of a largely regionally-based workforce, Sabo said.
"It's critical," Sabo said of developing and training a homegrown team. "A lot of people vacated the industry after they ran into issues with the downturn. There actually is a shortage of workers again. There is an absolute need to have a proper training and competency program set up. You can organically grow rather than inorganically grow."
Previously, companies in the Appalachian and Utica basins had to recruit oilfield and gas industry workers from Texas and other regions. That trend has changed, Sabo said.
"In the past, the only choice people had to get that type of experience here was to go outside," Sabo said. "We're working on getting the resources for the local folks to have an opportunity."
The Energy Innovation Center is a key instrument in that philosophy, according to Deep Well Services CEO and President Mark Marmo.
The EIC is a Pittsburgh-based, non-profit organization based in the recently renovated Clifford B. Connelley Trade School building. The multi-disciplinary EIC integrates workforce development programs, green technology, research labs, a business incubator and collaborative university-industry projects.
"This facility and the mission focuses on innovation across the entire energy and associated technology industries, including sustainable, renewable, oil and gas, grid and power generation, safety and related workforce development and job readiness training," Marmo said. "Many companies and businesses are moving in. The goal is to implement workforce development for the region to train people and involve them in the industry, and it also provides an opportunity to take advantage of technology."
"The EIC is using innovative blended learning techniques. They are utilizing technology, simulators, classroom training, and field exercises," Marmo added. "DWS is excited about being a part of this process."
Deep Well Services also has looked north of the border to implement important procedures in the snubbing industry. Sabo said DWS has utilized guidelines set forth in the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry's 2015 Industry Recommended Practice (IRP) report.
"The IRP 15 was developed in Canada. It's a regulatory agency buildup of snubbing providers in Canada," Sabo explained. "There are regulations, standards and procedures. We've taken the IRP 15 and adopted its procedures. We've 'Americanized' them. We've taken the competency and training program from north of the border and specialized that process."
Deep Well Services continues to develop a workforce with significant ties to the region through use of innovative philosophies and techniques. The formula has produced excellent results for one of the region's fastest growing companies.
John Sabo, Chief Operating Officer
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