STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has developed a "Shale Oil Information Site" to make it easier for area residents to find the information they're looking for on virtually any aspect of shale oil and gas development in the Tri-State Area.
"I think there's a wealth of information," Chamber President Sue Hershey said. "We tried to make it as comprehensive as possible. As we get more information, we'll be updating the site. We know there's more information out there, so we encourage people and businesses with a particular interest in the industry to contact us as well, so we can add that information on the website."
Hershey said local groups have been inundated in recent months with calls from people with questions on everything from jobs to training opportunities to business opportunities. The website should help address those concerns, she said.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of links and resources for individuals researching the shale oil and gas industry and posted the information on its homepage, located at www.jeffersoncountychamber.com -Linda Harris
"This is the first step, an initial step," she said. "That's not to say that as the industry develops, there might not be another central location. But what we're trying to do now is guide people to information so they can educate themselves, learn how they or their business can be impacted. This is just the beginning."
The Shale Oil Information Site is on the chamber's homepage at www.jeffersoncountychamber.com.
The site offers general information, such as links to maps showing Utica and Marcellus shale play in Ohio, as well as data from Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Oil & Gas Association. They've also posted economic development links to the Progress Alliance homepage and sites available for development, links to players in the local oil and gas industry, data for industry suppliers, business opportunities, work force information such as job openings and training opportunities, and shale news.
"I think a key one is under 'Business Opportunities,'" she said. "There's a link to 'Your Business and Marcellus Shale Webinars' available through Penn State Extension service. They've put together a five-webinar series dealing with things like business, opportunities and success stories. It talks about the evolution of the industry, ...there's just a wealth of information for anybody who wants to get up to speed on what the industry is about and how you can maximize opportunities and also view some of the challenges that might be coming our way, too. There's literally something there for everybody.
Hershey stresses that it's just a starting point.
"Local government, Progress Alliance, Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District, they all are trying to gather information so we can benefit from it and maximize our opportunities, so we can be aware of the challenges that the industry brings."