New Partnership Formed to Address Growing Job Demand in the Gulf

by | Friday, September 12, 2014 |

Over the next several years, it is estimated that approximately 30,000 offshore jobs will open up in the Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana has a plan to meet that demand.

A Louisiana Partnership

Several local Louisiana organizations, including the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA), Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and the University of Louisiana System, have partnered to create a certification program and curriculum with a focus on deep-water exploration and production. The program will be tailor-made for the oil and gas industry.

In late July, representatives from each organization signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), stating their agreement to provide support in general advisory, curriculum development, recruitment, financial sources for training, and status reports.

LMOGA has over 100 oil and gas company members, including BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron. According to LMOGA President, Chris John, "We started well over a year ago putting this together, and we're here today to start the process which outlines how the public and private partnership that will aimed to better equip tomorrow's off-shore workers in today's classrooms . . . The future of the Gulf of Mexico is bright and our members came to me, and said we're ready to invest. Many of (my) companies were not only worried about today, but they were certainly worried about the coming years."

John continued to express that over the next decade, almost 40 percent of the current work force in the Gulf of Mexico will be retired or retiring.

According to Earl Meador, Chancellor of Fletcher Technical Community College in Houma, students are already graduating with a number of the skills necessary for performing offshore jobs. As the new partnership develops, however, Fletcher, NSU, and SCLTCC will refine their curriculum to fully meet the workforce needs.

Cost and Funding

Currently, the state of Louisiana is taking an advisory role, and the LED has been present at several meetings to help develop the partnership. 

Says Chris John, "They're there to give us some advice because they do this everyday. They are a valuable partner in this to give us the state's perspective of what the state can provide, both from advice, capital, or whatever investment is needed as we move further down the road."

The cost of the program to be developed is not yet fully determined, but John conveys that there is an agreement between BP, FTCC, and the state of Louisiana.BP has invested $4 million, which the state has matched, to create a new offshore training facility.

This partnership and the resulting program will continue to develop, in an effort to meet the demands of the market in the coming years.Stay tuned for details.

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