Chesapeake Energy Corp. has opened a $7 million oilfield services and training center in the heart of the Marcellus Shale that offers all of the comforts of home -- and then some.
The Eastern Training Center and Housing Facility in Athens Township, PA, was built to house Chesapeake employees as well as employees of drilling subsidiary Nomac Drilling LLC.
The center "is the fulfillment of a goal Chesapeake and Nomac had to provide a convenient housing option for all drilling rig employees," said Chesapeake's David Fisher, vice president for drilling services.
"Our investment in this state of the art training facility demonstrates the local job growth that Nomac Drilling is creating in the Marcellus Shale and the company's commitment to taking good care of its employees."
The 11 buildings that encompass the facility are able to house 276 gas drilling workers in six dormitories and include a cafeteria, training center, recreation centers and laundromat. There also is a 3,600 square-foot training center.
The facility, which now is for men only, was provided so that the employees would be able to work 12-hour shifts for 14 days straight followed by 14 days off. Company vans will transport the workers between the drilling rigs and the Athens facility.
Beginning next year new hires will be trained with drilling rig simulators onsite at the facility. Currently the newest employees are trained in Searcy, AR, for up to three months.
Chesapeake wants to provide the workforce opportunities "not just for a job, but for a career," Fisher said.