NEW MILDFORD, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new summer program is being held to teach high school students about the energy and oil industry in Susquehanna County. The program specifically focuses on natural gas production.

The first place in the country engineers drilled for oil was Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. This week, high school students are taking advantage of their local history and learning about careers in the energy and oil industry.

It’s all part of a career experience program being held at Lackawanna College. One student says people encounter parts of production used in the industry all the time.

“Pretty much everywhere you go in this area, you’re going to find a pipeline or you’re going to end up seeing water trucks running or a gas pad, something of that nature,” Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center student Joshua Macdonald said.

Mary Anne Orlandini, the center coordinator for the school of petroleum and natural gas at Lackawanna College, says the program aims to recruit more kids to continue their education in the field and eventually find jobs in the energy and oil industries.

“Right now if you talk to anybody who works in the industry, some of our more higher up the ranks, the foremen, they’ll tell you that right now there are not enough skilled employees. There are more positions available then they have to fill the jobs,” Orlandini said.

Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country. Program organizers say that a well pad from which natural gas is drilled from can be used for over 40 years. That means job security for those joining the industry.

In addition to classes that introduce them to the industry, students will also go on a field trip to different well site in various stages of production.

“This way they can take what they learn in the class and visualize it tomorrow on the field trips,” Deb Tirney, Educational Coordinator with Northern Tier Industry Education and Consortion said.

The program will be held Wednesday and Thursday of this week, but for those interested, organizers plan to hold it again next year.