WHEELING - Republican West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney promised Wednesday he would work to see that state residents are considered for jobs in the local natural gas industry.
Maloney hosted a telephone "town hall" during which many in the Northern Panhandle asked questions. A New Martinsville resident asked what could be done to require Dominion Resources to hire more local workers at its plant in Wetzel County. He said he and his father are union operators, "and they just won't give us the time of day there."
"I've heard they just couldn't find enough workers locally," Maloney responded. "That's the first time I've heard they were turning people away who were local. That's a shame, and I would work to remedy that situation. If you are trained for that job, there's no reason they shouldn't be looking at you.
"I would hate to get government in the middle of that - requiring a percentage of workers from here. If there is anything we can do - a clearing house for resumes, making sure people are dealt with fairly - we should be getting that done."
And there's going to be a lot of opportunity in the industry, he continued.
"We just can't be breaking down liquids and taking them out of here," he said. "We need plants built here - both to produce the casings and the things we need to drill natural gas wells and for the petrochemical plants moving in here to take advantage of our liquids and natural gas."