At Cascade, we’re not only interested in convincing people to work for our company – we’re focused on the further development and sustainability of the environmental drilling industry as a whole. This includes enhancing people’s perception of our industry and what it is that we actually do. With that comes a need to educate the evolving workforce about the opportunities within our unique industry. It’s a challenge that any environmental drilling company faces in 2018 – a shrinking workforce, a decline in skilled trade employees, and a lack of interest in blue-collar, labor-intensive careers. Change is needed in our industry and Cascade is taking some crucial steps to make that change a reality.
Developing the talent pool starts with providing a basic understanding of our industry, and what better place to start that education than at educational institutes. We’ve identified trade and vocational schools with programs that teach some of the skills needed to be successful as an Environmental Driller or Technical Specialist.
These strategic partnerships have several objectives:
Giving these students exposure to the environmental drilling industry (and Cascade) early in their education creates a significant opportunity for us to address the shrinking workforce challenge.
Let’s take a look at some recent examples of how Cascade has put this strategy into action.
Students from across the country attending Western Michigan University’s Hydrogeology Field Course traded textbooks for log books during a recent field demonstration hosted by Cascade’s Flint, MI team. The crew explained safety measures, rig features, and field applications to the students before putting the Compact Crawler into action. Students were given the opportunity to examine sonic core samples and learn the science of borehole logging through Cascade’s interactive educational outreach program.
In addition to the hands-on demonstration, students were given a crash course in sonic drilling methodology, as well as the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Cascade’s hiring team regarding career and internship opportunities. The ultimate goal of this event was to drive interest in what Cascadians do in the field on a daily basis and to encourage the students to ask questions and learn more about the environmental drilling industry.
To further highlight our commitment to safety and the incredibly important role it plays in our industry, Cascade awarded an “OSHA scholarship” to the student that received the highest score on their final OSHA test.
Cascade also partners with the Washington County Careers Center (WCCC) in Marietta, OH. The WCCC offers unique industrial training programs such as Instrumentation and Electricity, Chemical Technician and Operator, Welding, Boiler Operations, and Building Technology. Many, if not all, of these programs, provide students with valuable transferable skills that can be easily applied in the environmental drilling industry, particularly as a Driller, Assistant Driller, or Technical Specialist.
To solidify this partnership, WCCC hosts Cascade for annual presentations each fall, in which we’re given the opportunity to present our company to students and encourage their consideration of Cascade for employment or internships.
Several other schools, such as Lone Star College in Houston, TX, Bates Technical College in Seattle, WA, C-Tec Career and Technology Education Center in Newark, OH, Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA, and Fleming College in Ontario, Canada, have proactively engaged with Cascade in our outreach and recruiting efforts.
Through continued involvement with organizations and schools in the communities in which we serve, we are able to foster long-term relationships and a sustainable strategy for recruiting talent into our industry. If we look beyond those positions we hire for directly, we will see the potential that lies within transferable skills. Environmental Drillers don’t always start their careers as drillers– they may often start as welders, heavy equipment operators, mechanics, construction workers, and even farmers. Recruiting talented and capable people in our sector requires us to think outside the box, promote the interesting and exciting projects that we have a meaningful, long-standing impact on, and demonstrate how those individuals with varying technical backgrounds may fit perfectly into our industry.
Cascade would like to recognize Neil Mairs of Solutions Recruiting for helping build strategic partnerships with the trade and vocational organizations across the country. Neil is a key player in Cascade’s efforts to improving the industry’s talent pool.