As part of a regional effort to train oil and gas workers, Eastern Gateway Community College along with other education partners will receive a monetary award from Ohio’s RAPIDS Program.

The Ohio Department of Education will present $272,263 to EGCC, Belmont College, Washington State Community College and Zane State College tomorrow, March 22, with an event starting at 11 a.m. The four schools are the lead partners for the SE Ohio Oil & Gas Training Collaborative, which will provide a systematic approach to regional training for the energy industry.

Officials said the colleges’ service areas have seen significant growth related to the oil and gas industry in recent years. As a result, the demand for skilled workers in the region continues to exceed supply. College leaders, industry partners, and economic development agencies are working together to develop strategies that will address the needs of the industry and the training required to produce a skilled workforce.

RAPIDS – or Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills – awards higher education institutions funds for education equipment, co-op programs and internship programs. The funds develop and support the institutions’ workforce development initiatives that focus on furthering economic growth.

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey is scheduled to present the award to the colleges tomorrow at the Cambridge Campus of Zane State College. Carey is scheduled to arrive and tour the campus at 10 a.m., and the RAPIDS event will start at 11 a.m. Zane State College President Chad M. Brown is slated to speak first for about 10 minutes, then Carey will speak for 10-20 minutes. After their remarks, attendees will participate in a roundtable discussion. The media are invited to attend.

EGCC will purchase updated welding equipment for its Jefferson County campus to ensure that students are being trained in appropriate techniques for the oil and gas industry.

For more information about RAPIDS, visit

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