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
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
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
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
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.