Classrooms and labs are nearing completion at the new Tunkhannock Center of Lackawanna College, where Fall Semester classes will begin on Aug. 30. Hundreds of people toured the facility on Aug. 5 prior to and after a ribbon cutting ceremony involving elected officials and leaders in the energy industries. It was an exciting time for administrators and guests alike who acknowledged the importance of the school to the region.
“The ribbon cutting event was an amazing day for Lackawanna College and for students from Wyoming County and the surrounding areas,” said Center director Kayla Guilford. “We’re proud to continue the outstanding work of the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in educating future workers, but we’re also thrilled to be able to offer more traditional degrees for local high school graduates and folks seeking new career opportunities.”
In addition to needing more space, the School of PNG was moved to Tunkhannock to be more central to the industry and to be more accessible to students from Bradford, Sullivan, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
While the hallmark of the new facility is the School of PNG, the Tunkhannock Center will also offer courses in business, accounting, criminal justice, and human services that can be applied to Associates and Bachelors degrees. With the new school year fast-approaching, there is still plenty of room for more students due to the facility and new labs offering so much more space. Program director Sue Gumble (below) noted that the school is also addressing COVID-related concerns.
“We are monitoring and following the CDC/State guidance at this time and, if need be, we will implement the safety protocols put in place last year, including masks, social distancing, daily temperature taking, and daily mobile app health assessments,” said Gumble. “We are committed to keeping our PNG program students safe while continuing to have in-person classes throughout the upcoming semester.”
There are at least 10 openings yet for PNG students and plenty of opportunities for students interested in the other programs. The two-year PNG program offers various paths towards associated degrees as well as certifications in compressor mechanics, PNG technicians and other specialized jobs in the natural gas industry.
The curriculum is built on engineering principals and evolves under the guidance of an advisory board comprised of educators and industry leaders. It is designed to balance bookwork, hands-on lab time, field trips to gas-related facilities, and internships with key industry partners like Cabot, SWN, and Williams. The job placement rate into family-sustaining jobs in the upstream and midstream natural gas markets exceeds 93 percent.
Tours of the Tunkhannock Center at 420 West Tioga Street can be arranged by calling 570-866-1900. Interested readers can learn more about the PNG program and new school can by logging on to https://www.lackawanna.edu/category/tunkhannock-center/. Registration will be accepted up to August 30.