Energy industry courts high school grads |

Energy industry courts high school grads

RIFLE, Colo. On Colorados Western Slope, high school students can look forward to good job prospects upon graduation because of the oil and gas boom.The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that about 500 students from Western Slope high schools will participate in the second annual Energy Career Day at the Garfield County Fairgrounds on Oct. 3.Although there has been much talk about the strain of the boom on local resources and environmental threats, the boom also means jobs.The Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado organizes the career day with the Colorado Workforce Center.We started it because theres a lot of students in the region who see all the energy development that goes on and want to know about what jobs are out there, said Aron Diaz, executive director of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, a group devoted to energy impact mitigation.The event will introduce students to energy industry representatives and recruiters who are looking to fill jobs with students right out of high school or college.Diaz told the Sentinel that not all the jobs will be blue-collar in the oil and gas drilling industry. Company representatives from renewable energy firms, the oil shale sector and geology, and engineering specialists from the Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University are expected to attend.Colorado Mountain College and Colorado Northern Community College will offer information on their degree programs in process technology and other technical careers.Its not like a job fair where you just go around and get brochures from people, Diaz said.As many as 20 presenters from firms such as EnCana, Shell and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will offer hands-on, interactive presentations for students. One presenter, the Rio Tinto mining group, will bring a driving simulator machine used to train truck drivers.Select colleges will be at the job fair to hand out scholarships as door prizes. Last year, Colorado Northern Community College handed out two $1,000 scholarships to students.School District 51 will provide bus transportation.