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Industry insiders say minorities should pursue oil jobs

— Porter added: “And, we’ve started a Veterans Energy Pipeline program to connect veterans with career opportunities that are compatible with their unique skill sets.”

With above-average salaries and an abundance of career opportunities projected over the next two decades, the oil and natural gas industry offers solutions to wage stagnation and income inequality, which remain major concerns in our still-struggling economy, said Porter.

“Capitalizing on energy job opportunities doesn’t require a government program or taxpayer funding,” said Porter. “All it takes are smart energy policies and increased awareness of job opportunities to ensure the ‘Great Crew Change’ is the game changer it can be for America’s workers.”

The industry is partnering with schools, labor organizations and the government to increase awareness of energy job opportunities and to promote greater participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Still, many are surprised to learn that the industry has a great deal of job opportunities in blue collar occupations (57 percent), which require a high school diploma and some post-secondary training, Spooner said.

“These are jobs like welders, pipefitters, truck drivers, and construction workers,” said Spooner. “There are also hundreds of thousands of job opportunities projected in management and professional fields as scientists, engineers, architects, communication professionals, business managers, and so much more.”

The oil and natural gas industry pays wages significantly higher than the national average and can provide tremendous career opportunities for women and minorities, said Jack Gerard, API president and CEO.

Gerard continued: “These careers can help shrink the income inequality gap without spending a dime of taxpayer money.”