Roustabout may become the next hot job in New York — with modern versions of scenes from classics like “Giant” and “There Will Be Blood” coming to life across the Southern Tier.
If the Department of Environmental Conservation ever makes good on Gov. Cuomo’s promises and produces reasonable regulations on fracking, shale-gas wells and pipeline projects will need hundreds of roustabouts.
The median salary for the job is $38,000 annually — higher with experience. With a high-school diploma, an entry-level gas-field roustabout starts at an average of $22,000 a year.
Plus, fracking means thousands of other jobs, too — jobs New York needs to get out of its economic doldrums.
Unemployment stands at 8.7 percent statewide, and 9.8 percent in the city; in Southern Tier counties, it averages 8.9 percent.
Nationwide, jobs in the oil and gas industry are projected to grow 6.4 percent by 2016. Demand will grow for geologists, engineers, administrative assistants, sales and marketing reps, financial analysts, fleet mechanics, truck drivers, heavy-equipment operators, machinists and pipefitters.
At a recent Binghamton gas-industry jobs fair, attendees learned of opportunities for wetland and wildlife specialists, truck drivers, pipe suppliers and software engineers.
But “fracking” means “hope” for people here in the city, too — people such as my Brooklyn friend Ray Lewandowski — an ex-offender, single parent and commercial trucker who deserves this second chance.
There were jobs for those who test our water, treat and transport wastewater and keep gas-well operators honest.
Gas companies pay for road improvements, too — creating opportunities for small businesses, including minority- and woman-owned firms.