Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force Hosts Meet-and-Greet
Posted: February 20, 2011
Just a sampling of the large crowd on hand for the January 26 “Meet and Greet” networking event which helped to better connect local businesses with representatives of the natural gas industry who have a local presence.
This is a shortened version of a weekly column presented by the Public Education sub-committee of the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force in an effort to provide accurate, up-to-date information on activities surrounding the Marcellus Shale formation and the natural gas exploration industry. For the complete version of the article, and more information on Task Force activities, visit the Task Force page on the Clinton County government website at www.clintoncountypa.com.
The Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force and the Clinton County Economic Partnership took a proactive step toward connecting local businesspeople with representatives of natural gas industry companies who have a local presence. With the help of several local business sponsors, the two organizations hosted what was called a “Meet and Greet.” Simply put, the event was an informal get-together. It allowed people from the local business community to introduce themselves, pass out business cards, become more familiar with the gas industry companies doing business in the greater Clinton County area, and learn how their business might be able to assist in and support the Marcellus Shale activity.
For the gas industry representatives who attended, it allowed them to see the wealth of products and services that are available through local contacts, and it gave them a chance to get to know and interact with more people locally.
“The Natural Gas Task Force and the Economic Partnership felt the Meet and Greet was a great opportunity for networking with the gas industry representatives who have a presence in our county,” said Economic Partnership president and CEO Mike Flanagan. “It allowed for Partnership and Task Force members to meet with industry officials to hear about what they might need and how local business might be able to step in. It is important to put our local business folks in front of new opportunities.”
Clinton County Commissioner and Natural Gas Task Force chairman Adam Coleman agreed.
“I thought the Meet and Greet went really well. I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of people – both local and gas industry folks – especially with the bad weather we had that night.”
“Up until now, I think there has been somewhat of a wall between our local industries and the companies coming into the area to do business with the gas industry,” added Coleman. “With the Meet and Greet, I think we took a pretty big stride toward breaking that wall down. I think we’ll see some good benefits – some good business-to-business interaction – because of this event.”
Both Flanagan and Coleman expressed appreciation for the number of people who participated in the Meet and Greet; at the peak of the evening, it was estimated nearly 200 people were in attendance. Coleman welcomed everyone, and Flanagan took the opportunity to introduce natural gas industry representatives on hand. Those guests were then invited to say a few words about their business.
In all, 21 different companies involved in the natural gas industry participated in the Meet and Greet. These included natural gas exploration and production/land lease corporations that currently have, or will soon have, drilling operations in the area. All of the other companies in attendance can be considered as support companies for the natural gas industry. For example, companies represented at the event offer the following services: transloading (loading and unloading) of materials such as sand, from railcars to trucks; piping, machinery, equipment, and material supply company for the natural gas industry; drilling firms; storage and transmission firms; and emergency response support providers.
From a local perspective, in addition to the economic development and natural gas task force members in attendance, there were business development and tourism representatives at the Meet and Greet, people from municipal, county and state government, the financial field, agri-business, real estate and housing development, contractors from various disciplines, engineering, consulting and environmental service firms, transportation officials, health care representatives, vehicle sales and service companies, waste disposal groups, emergency response, heavy equipment manufacturers, retail and wholesale supply businesses, and representatives from several non-profit organizations. It is also important to note that 14 local sponsors offered financial support to help underwrite the cost of the Meet and Greet.
Feedback from the event has been positive. Many of the participants have commented on the value of information learned and shared, and contacts made. Flanagan says another Meet and Greet is being proposed and is likely to be held during the summer months.
This article was written by members of the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force’s public education sub-committee.