Flatwoods, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant told more than 50 members of the West Virginia Desk and Derrick Club that educating people and helping them understand the energy industry is “critical” at a time when demand has never been higher.
Tennant spoke at the Third Annual Energy Industry Appreciation Ceremony Tuesday in Flatwoods.
The majority of the members of the Desk and Derrick Club work as administrative support professionals in the oil and gas industry and related businesses, such as law and accounting firms. According to the organization’s website, West Virginia Desk and Derrick Club is “a fast growing organization for people in the energy industry with the Region I West Virginia club boasting a member tally of over 170, all being from companies based in Appalachia.”
The group’s motto is “Greater Knowledge, Greater Service.”
“Now is a more critical time than ever to make sure the education about the energy industry and the understanding is there,” Tennant said. “We see the struggles and debates that go on and on, and how we are going to have enough energy to meet the demands that we have. That’s organizations like this are so important.”
Paul Shreffler, of Pierpont Technical and Community College in Fairmont, said that the Rig School, which gives students real-world experience on a drilling rig, is an example of how the energy industry is growing in West Virginia. He said that dozens of people have gone through the program, and that the school is growing.
The Desk and Derrick Club also awarded scholarships to students who plan to pursue an education and a career in the energy industry.