New Mexico Junior College recently announced the development of a program focusing on oil and gas technology and onsite technician training. This effort could bring higher-skilled workers into the oil and gas industry while promoting use of the latest technological developments for efficiency and productivity. In order to provide hands-on training, the college has created a mock worksite, including a dry well, tanks, batteries and an area for the training of CDL drivers, according to the Alamogordo Daily News.
"What we're teaching is skills to be able to do a better job with your current career or to learn new skills so that you can be promoted or advance within your company," Kelly Tooker, the program's director, told the news source. "One big thing is for people who aren't in the oilfield. We can teach them skills to get started in a good career with good money."
The college began developing the program five years ago to address a potential skills gap in the oil and gas industry that could appear as older workers begin to retire. The program includes five career path options, including an overview of the petroleum industry, Occupational Safety and Health Administration oilfield policies, spill prevention, oilfield driving and navigation and safe land certification.
Training the skills necessary to start a successful career on an oil site is a great step forward, but employers will also need to ensure that incoming employees have behavior based safety training to minimize accidents as well.
Safety is of the utmost concern at any oilfield or pipeline work site, and employers may need to advance their training programs, especially as they bring in new employees from such college programs as the one offered by New Mexico Junior College.