Opportunities follow natural gas development, whether its creating jobs, saving on energy costs or lowing emissions, it’s changing lives for the better.
The first time I heard of natural gas development I knew, by the excitement in the voice of the person telling me, this was going to do amazing things for our area. Little did I know then how much opportunity was about to be created. As natural gas leases were signed by landowners and farmers, you started to see new projects beginning. Maybe it was an addition, a garage being built or new farm equipment being bought; whatever it was, money was now flowing in the local communities.
Business and opportunity for new entrepreneurs became bountiful. With natural gas development came a need to provide this industry with the products it’s needed. Places such as Taylor Rental began to flourish. Their equipment rental services were in high demand, and their business and number of employees grew because if it. Restaurants and convenience stores started to being built to fill the needs of the expanding workforce.
With this abundant and affordable natural gas supply we now had prospects for construction of power plants, manufacturing plants and work on pipelines being built, not only in urban settings, but also in rural areas such as Montrose where natural gas service now became available. And, jobs for talented young people have followed.
One talented young man, named Wade Lipscomb, talked about how he worked hard, went to college and now has a career in the natural gas development field with Range Resources.
Growing up in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln/Lemington neighborhood, Wade Lipscomb learned the value of hard work from an early age. He’d often help his father at the family business, Wade’s Barbershop on Kelly Street, opening the shop, sweeping up and eventually cutting hair, squirreling his savings away for college. With the help of a Pittsburgh Promise scholarship, Wade earned a degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, and now works as an operations engineer at Range Resources.
His relationship with the Washington County-based natural gas producer began even before graduation, with an internship after his freshman year. Wade clearly liked what he saw, turning down interviews from companies in Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota to pounce on an offer at Range. “I really wanted to come back to Pittsburgh.”
Working with well-rounded employees is what he enjoys the most about his job. As overseer of well production – ensuring wells are installed and flowing safely at maximum capacity – Wade can join a department or team on and off the field and everyone will know what he’s talking about. “Range Resources is a great company: a positive atmosphere, friendly people. They treat their employees well.”
These opportunities will only increase as pipelines are built to help bring natural gas into additional areas and gas drilling is extended into new formations such as the Utica in places as diverse as Bradford and Indiana Counties. Wade’s story is our story, too. Natural gas development has brought opportunity to so many of us. May it long continue and spread so ever more Wade Lipscomb’s can prosper.