Pennsylvania College of Technology has hired a project director for ShaleNET U.S., a federally funded consortium initiative that develops and standardizes credit and noncredit education and training programs serving high-demand occupations in the oil and natural gas industry.
Alice M. Schuster began her duties in late January. She will manage a consortium of four colleges, serve as the primary contact with the funding agency (the U.S. Department of Labor) and initiate and coordinate the delivery of all goods and services associated with the grant.
Schuster has 19 years of experience in project and grants management, including the past 11 years as director of grants and contracts for Penn College. At Penn College, she has served as chair and vice chair of the Elections and Communications Committee for the college's Internal Governance System.
She holds a bachelor's degree in human development and advanced credits in economic partnerships from Penn State University. Schuster's professional affiliations include the Perkins Participatory Planning Committee and the National Council of University Research Administrators.
"I am very excited to have Alice serve in this role, as she has a tremendous grant background with excellent project-management skills," said Tracy L. Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development at Penn College. "She has a comprehensive understanding of the ShaleNET U.S. project, and I have complete confidence in her ability to provide the project oversight for the grant. I am looking forward to working with her on this exciting initiative."
The ShaleNET U.S. project is funded by a $14.9 million grant under the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.
The college consortium consists of Penn College; Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood; Navarro Community College, Corsicana, Texas; and Stark State College, Canton, Ohio. ShaleNET U.S.'s "stackable credential" model for oil and gas industry careers includes foundational skills, entry-level certifications, certificate programs, associate degrees and a bachelor's degree.
Penn College also partners with The Allegheny Conference on Community Development to plan and implement the initiative. Industry/employer partners include Chevron, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake Energy, XTO, Encana, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association and the Ohio Shale Coalition.
In addition to playing a lead role in ShaleNET U.S., Penn College partners with Penn State Extension for the Shale Training and Education Center, which provides workforce-development education and services to assist with the needs of the community and the oil and natural gas industry. For more information, visit www.shaletec.org.