THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University has signed an agreement with the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) and other state agencies and colleges to form a long-term partnership to help Louisiana businesses address the employment needs of the expanding Gulf of Mexico deep-water exploration and production industry.
“Nicholls looks forward to collaborating to meet the workforce needs of the booming oil and gas industry,” said Nicholls President Bruce Murphy. “For more than 40 years, our Petroleum Engineering Technology and Safety Management program has prepared students for management careers in production, drilling operations, safety and related fields. Through this public private partnership, Nicholls will have more opportunities to develop synergistic relationships, share resources and work closely with business and industry leaders.”
Recent technological innovations have increased deep-water activity at an impressive pace, making the Gulf of Mexico the fastest growing offshore market in the world. But with this growth comes a challenge. Forty percent of skilled oil and gas professionals are expected to reach retirement age within the next decade. Companies will need to recruit and train a number of individuals to take on these roles.
“This partnership is a prime example of how Louisiana higher education is coming together with business and industry to meet workforce needs,” said University of Louisiana System President Sandra K. Woodley. “Leveraging the power of existing programs will yield a multi-faceted approach to growing the employee pipeline for the fastest growing offshore market in the world. It is a wise approach for the long-term economic stability of our state.”
Partners who signed the Memorandum of Understanding Thursday, July 24, include Nicholls, LMOGA, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the University of Louisiana System, Fletcher Technical Community College, South Central Louisiana Technical College, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Louisiana Economic Development.