This column is presented weekly by the Public Education sub-committee of the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force in an effort to provide accurate, up-to-date information on activities surrounding the Marcellus Shale formation and the natural gas exploration industry. For more information on Task Force activities, visit the Task Force page on the Clinton County government website at www.clintoncountypa.com.
The second Central Susquehanna Oil and Gas Expo is set for this Saturday at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville. The event represents a showcase opportunity for business, industry and organizations affiliated with the growing natural gas industry.
Nearly 200 exhibitors will be on hand for the Expo, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Displays will be both indoors and outside. People from throughout the region are invited to attend; the Expo is open to the public at no charge.
This year's Expo will be even larger than the first business-to-business Expo, which was held in September of 2009. Approximately 120 vendors exhibited at the initial Expo and 1,500 people attended the event.
The Expo is designed to help bring together local businesses associated with the gas industry, to help continue the growth and facilitate new growth for the region. Businesses represented at the event come from Lycoming and Clinton counties, as well as surrounding counties and throughout Pennsylvania.
Clinton County has good representation from local businesses and organizations, with Keystone Community Network (KCnet), Harger Utility Contractors, Glossner's Concrete, Big Woods Land Company and the Clinton County Economic Partnership all exhibiting. Other local businesses which will set up displays include Belles Springs Structures, Davis Insurance Agency, Faber Fab, PA CareerLink-Clinton County, R.C. Bowman, Trican Well Service, and the Wayne Township Landfill. A number of other Expo vendors are not necessarily based in Clinton County, but have operations locally.
The main sponsor for the Expo is Chief Oil & Gas. In addition, there are six "Gold" sponsors: Keystone Energy Forum, Kreitzer Sanitation, Appellation Pre-Fab, Prudential Hodrick Realty, Nu-Weld and Minuteman Environmental Services. The Expo also has 12 "Silver" sponsors: Fish Real Estate, Allison Crane & Rigging, RE/MAX, North Penn Pipe Supply, MWBS Inc., Patterson & Wilder, Allegheny Crane Rental, McTish Kunkel & Associates, Best Line Equipment, Weavertown Environmental Group, Penn Environmental & Remediation and Val Tek Industries.
The WorkCenter at Susquehanna Health is the "Think Natural Gas" sponsor. They are responsible for bringing the Mobile Energy Education Training Unit (MEET-U) to the area.
The MEET-U trailer, which will be stationed at the Expo all day Saturday, teaches youth and adults about the history of energy extraction and how people can choose energy sources and behaviors that will benefit everyone by creating a sustainable energy future.
In addition to being at the Expo, the MEET-U trailer was stationed at Central Mountain High School in conjunction with the Keystone Central School District Career & Technology Center's career fair.
Today, the MEET-U trailer will be at Loyalsock High School and Hughesville High School. And on Saturday, during the Expo, the MEET-U will be open to the public at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds.
The organizers behind the Central Susquehanna Oil and Gas Expo include the Small Business Development Center at Lock Haven University, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center, Williamsport/Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce and Jersey Shore State Bank. Committee members include Matt Henderson from the SBDC, Danielle Boston from PIOGA, Carol Loveland and Tom Murphy from Penn State, Jeff Lorson from MSETC, Sharon Jones from WLCC, and Rob Glunk from JSSB.
Local business owners who are not exhibiting are encouraged to attend Saturday's Expo to explore the various gas industry-related businesses that are out there and to learn about the types of services needed by the gas industry. There will be opportunities to meet potential business partners to help grow or sustain your business. There are opportunities for existing businesses to enter the natural gas industry or for the entrepreneur to explore the needs of the industry to start a new business.
And while Saturday's event is not targeted as a job expo, individuals looking for employment can get an idea of the types of jobs available in the industry by visiting the various businesses exhibiting.
Expo committee chairperson Matt Henderson is a business consultant with the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center.