Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Spartan Geologist Aims to Boost Energy Job Interest in Okla

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Spartan Geologist Aims to Boost Energy Job Interest in Okla

Article excerpt

Energy employment is Tim Munson's passion.

And it's not just his employment that counts.

Munson, exploration manager and geologist at Spartan Resources, is deeply involved in the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board's PetroTech Certification Program, which enables the industry to gain more work force, something that's been in short supply.

The OERB is known for cleaning up abandoned well sites, but the organization also has a hand in broadening the horizons of prospective employees through education. PetroTech, a joint venture with Francis Tuttle Technology Center, has lured more than 150 students this year.

It's been a hit up to this point, said Munson, who been part of PetroTech and the OERB Scholastic Outreach Committee.

"Since 2001 I've been part of Petro Pros, which is a program that gives presentations to school-age students, from first grade to college level," Munson said. "It helps provide curricula for school programs in energy education."

Munson in 2003 was given the Randy Foutch Award from the OERB for his participation in energy education.

PetroTech is the latest part of his drive to open the industry to anyone interested.

"PetroTech kicked off in February," he said. "OERB has done a good job with the petroleum scholar program. One area it hadn't reached out was with folks who wanted to get into the industry but didn't want to go to college."

Various industry professionals put on the classes at Francis Tuttle.

"So far we have about 150 students involved, and last week we had our first graduate - the first one to get a certification," Munson said. "We are going to have a job fair in September. We are still taking applications into the program but won't take anyone else till the first of the year."

The industry has long pinpointed its shortage of workers and the current program is a way to fight the battle.

"It's been an upfront success and is taking off very well," he said. "A number of students already have accepted jobs. OERB has now hit all age and education levels."

Some may look at the oil and gas industry as an avenue to hard labor, but it's more than that, he said.

"There's a strong need for technical support," he said. …

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