Matzie joins governor, labor, business and education leaders to help Beaver County prepare for the Shell ethane cracker plant
HARRISBURG, July 22 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf, state and local elected officials, labor leaders, business leaders and education officials Thursday at Penn State Beaver for a roundtable discussion on how Beaver County’s workforce and infrastructure can prepare for the construction of the Shell ethane cracker plant expected to deliver thousands of construction jobs and thousands of operational and ancillary jobs to the region.
"This roundtable brought together a variety of the principals and players who will help facilitate and ensure everything is done the way it should be, but also to ensure we stay on a tight schedule and get this built,” Matzie said. “Yesterday was about progress, not problems, and a lot of people have worked hard for a long time to get us to this point, and I’m working hard with them until the plant is up and running and Western Pennsylvania is sharing in the success.
“The key issue for me is making sure we have enough skilled, trained workers ready to take on these excellent jobs that pay family-sustaining wages, and make sure our high schools, colleges, vocational-technical schools and our trade unions are able to prepare a workforce ready for success, but we also can’t lose sight of the impact this plant will have on the entire region’s infrastructure. We need to be ready, and this meeting is a tremendous start to get everyone on the same page.”
The construction of the plant, which will process Marcellus and Utica shale ethane gas, is expected to require up to 6,000 workers. Upon its completion, it will employ an estimated 600 employees, as well as create thousands of ancillary jobs related to the industry.
Shell has been on-site in Beaver County for more than a year doing site research and preparation with intentions to begin major construction by late 2017, with a tentative completion date in the early 2020s.
Matzie has been recognized as the lead Democratic lawmaker spearheading the bipartisan effort to bring together government, business, labor and schools to bring the cracker plant to the state.