With an influx of marcellus shale drilling activity in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, Trehab has worked to assist low-to-middle income residents in capitalizing on the opportunities the industry presents. At the same time, the agency has increased its focus on housing development and assistance to combat an emergent housing crisis. Please read below for more information on Trehab’s response to the marcellus shale industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Please use the navigation to the left to access more resources on marcellus shale and the impact it has on our service area.
Trehab’s Workforce Development Department is collaborating with the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center (SCCTC), the Norther Tier Regional Planning and Development Corporation (NTRPDC), and other entities to train and equip local residents to take advantage of the opportunities the Marcellus Shale industry presents the area. Using Workforce Development Act funds, qualifying adults and youth can recieve assistance in obtaining training in high-demand fields in the area. The workforce office can help in providing training for the shale industry, as well as job fairs and employer meetings for all local industries.
Part of the process Trehab uses includes facilitating WorkKeys© testing to assess key job skill, with preparation through the Worldwide Interactive Network provided by Trehab’s offices. Workforce offices also work with multiple companies with established relationships to help clients obtain employment both in and out of the Marcellus Shale field.
When the drilling industry brought out-of-state workers with prior training to the area, the local housing market became saturated beyond capacity. In the competitve housing market, landlords are able to increase rental rates above what many low and middle income residents can afford. This has created an increase in homelessness throughout the area as well as increasing the number of families living in unsuitable situations. To Address teh issue, Trehab has coupled the development of new housing with crisis rental assistance to meet the needs of local residents. Through Trehab’s efforts, 92 more living spaces have been created across 6 housing developments.
Trehab does not elevate its rental rates to match the excessive inflation in the area, and instead provides affordable, comfortable housing to those that need it. The agency plans to continue to develop affordable housing in the years to come.
In the meantime, Trehab’s Community Services Department utilizes a variety of funding sources to combat homelessness and support renter retention. With short-term and crisis rental assistance, as well as utility payment support available to qualifying individuals, residents are assisted in obtaining and maintaining a safe living space.