API Chief Seeks Union Help To Close Gap In Oil & Gas Workforce

Photo by Dave Fehling

Roughnecks repairing leaking oil well near downtown Kilgore.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard met with Houston union officials Wednesday. The main topic of discussion was how labor and management can work together to meet the demand for new oil and gas workers.

Gerard toured the training center of United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 211, located in Houston’s Greater Third Ward. He expressed the hope that the training center would be able to turn out far more oil and gas workers, as industry needs grow acute.

“The oil and natural gas industry is projected to create another 500,000 jobs over the next seven years, and we’re going to need a trained and skilled workforce in order to continue to produce and to refine and transport the oil and natural gas we use right here in the United States.”

The industry is pressed on two fronts as it tries to build out its workforce. It needs to hire more workers to accommodate the rising demand for oil and natural gas, both domestically and abroad. At the same time, it’s facing the loss of many of its older skilled workers, as baby boomers start to retire.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...