KINGWOOD, W.Va – Seniors at Preston High School participated in a free oil and natural gas training class Wednesday, right in their school.
It’s part of the West Virginia University Extension Service’s IADC Rig Pass SafeLandUSA course, which certifies participants with safety and health hazard training program before they even hit the workforce. In addition, students will receive training in first-aid/CPR training and receive ATV training.
The program is available to up to 400 seniors and takes eight hours. Seniors Arrington Bucklew and Chase Laughry said they considered the training to be significant to their futures.
Laughry said he had not considered a career in oil and natural gas but that he had become really interested after the training began. He said he hopes to make something out of the learning opportunity.
“It’s very significant, it’s going to make an impact on my whole life, it’s going to help me get a job out of high school, make a living and hopefully start a family,” Laughry said.
He said the course would be a leg-up on other students and that sentiment was shared by his classmate Bucklew. Bucklew said he too had not considered this as a career option but that his mind was changed by the free opportunity to get certified.
Bucklew said he will have a leg-up because many students don’t get the chance to be certified for free, meaning their companies have to pay for it or they personally have to pay out of pocket.
“I’m really glad that we got this opportunity as a class to you know have them come in and do this training for us so that we can get our certification,” Bucklew said. “I feel like it’s good for our career paths.”
Both Bucklew and Laughry said they felt their classmates were interested, engaged and paid attention because the career was in a field they wanted to join.