Energy jobs in focus: Illinois fracking and wind engineers

Energy is important to the United States in many ways. As society increasingly relies on technology, so too does it depend on electricity to power it. In terms of economic impact, extraction of oil and gas from shale rock formations will help make the country the world's No. 1 supplier of such energies. In the same vein, energy is crucial to jobs creation, especially for the aforementioned advent of tight oil, which is gathered by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. New Illinois legislation aims to create thousands of jobs in fracking, and renewable energy recruiters will likely be in high demand moving forward.

Bill would create regulatory code, spur job growth
House Bill 2615, or the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, was recently introduced to the state's General Assembly and is the product of a nearly 14-month bi-partisan effort, according to The Southern Illinoisan.

The legislation would be used mainly as a vehicle for ensuring the wildly popular oil and natural gas drilling method is conducted in a safe manner. The bill was in part a response to critics and environmental activists who have decried the danger fracking poses to the environment. Fracking entails injecting chemically treated water into tight rock formations that blast open avenues of extraction to previously untapped energy deposits. The law would protect the environment by requiring testing of water used in operations and sufficient well reclamation activities.

The economic impact of allowing fracking would be astounding, Rep. John Bradley, bill co-sponsor, said. According to The Southern Illinoisan, Bradley said regulated fracking enterprises in the state could lead to 60,000 new jobs, both direct and indirect, during the next decade. While most, if not all, fracking processes would be conducted in southern Illinois, Chicago recruiters can still provide a valuable service to downstate businesses.

Engineering jobs a byproduct of wind power focus
Another burgeoning energy source, hailing from the cleantech sector, is wind power, which is becoming increasingly popular as the country seeks out more sustainable energy options.

As wind power installations become more widespread, so too does the demand for engineers in both mechanical and electrical disciplines, according to the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper noted 70 percent of wind turbines are manufactured domestically, meaning wind power firms can benefit from using U.S.-based engineering recruiters in their talent searches.

"As the industry grows and strengthens there will always be a need for engineers and other professionals to keep the operation running efficiently, and the maintenance up to date," Liz Salerno of the American Wind Energy Association told The Chronicle. "There are many elements and moving pieces and ensuring the design and research is stellar on the front end is important to the future operation."

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