ST. CLAIRSVILLE In todays world, energy production, conservation, and utilization are foundational to economic stability. It is essential to educate individuals to be highly qualified and trained in order to maximize our energy resources for generations to come.

In an exciting announcement at the St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce Luncheon held on June 20 at Belmont College, the College released the development of the Energy Institute. The Institute will provide education, training, and preparation for employment in current and future sources of energy.

With the oil and gas industry changing the outlook for our local economy, it is important that we provide relevant degrees and certificates in order to support industry workforce needs, said Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski, president. As energy corporations continue to increase their presence in the area, Belmont College is focused on the future and meeting industry needs and standards. We are committed to preparing our students for the energy workforce.

Belmont Colleges Energy Institute will train and retrain individuals in the creation, management, and operation of sources of energy, such as oil and gas. Through the institute, short-term training certifications and associate degrees in the areas of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources will be available to provide students a means to enter the energy industry, said Dr. Holly Bennett, dean of Workforce & Economic Development.

According to Ed Mowrer, Operations manager for Energy Programs at Belmont College, The purpose of the Energy Institute is to offer an economical approach for an existing or displaced worker as well as high school graduates to prepare them for a career in the energy industry. Training may consist of job certifications, skill refreshers, industry specific certificates of completion, associate degrees, and/or transfer capabilities towards a four-year degree.

Many of Belmonts existing traditional programs such as Welding, Civil Engineering, and Industrial Electronics offer the skills and education needed for students to be attractive to employers from energy related industries.

For additional information about the Energy Institute, visit