News & Events
GI Bill for Veteran Training
2/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
The McMurry Training Center is now accepting the GI Bill for Veterans to help
them pay for their training. If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who might be
interested in our training programs, we would be happy to help in any way we
Please register online at www.McMurryTrainingCenter.com or call 307-237-4400 for more
2011 Big Year For Casper Training Center
2/9/2012 12:00:00 AM
The Wyoming Contractors Association's McMurry Training Center was
recently featured in the Wyoming Energy Journal published by the Casper
Star Tribune. The following article was written by the Casper Star
Tribune Energy Reporter, Jeremy Fugleberg.
2011 Big Year for Casper Training Center
On a blustery but clear January day, a group of men and one
woman all wearing Halliburton red overalls clustered around a
trainer as he discussed uses for a number of metal pipes next to a
Just up the hill at the Wyoming Contractors Association’s
McMurry Training Center in Casper, a driver in training backed a
semi-trailer between two rows of orange cones, under the watchful
eyes of two trainers.
The driver and those at the rig were some of the latest trainees
at the center, which trained 4,000 people last year — a big jump
from the usual average of 2,500 annually — in the energy,
construction and transportation fields, center General Manager
Chris Corlis said.
The number of workers who have trained at the center ebbs and
flows with the state’s energy-based economy, Corliss said,
including the Jonah Field natural gas boom of 2004-2005.
“Because of the boom at that time, it took off like wildfire,”
Last year’s numbers were spurred by new programs, training
sessions in cities around the state and new companies using the
center, which trains workers in everything from drill rig
operations to forklift use, Corlis said.
Center staff members now also work with high school students
around the state and run a new program to teach leadership — a
program that works for all industries in the state, Corlis
Leadership trainees learn how do deal with workers from
different generations and cultures, and to remember they set the
standards for their employees — even if it would be easier to not
strap into a safety belt or take other shortcuts.
“It’s very hard. In leadership, you’ve to be vigilant of that,”
Corlis thinks the center’s work with high school students is
critical and a natural extension of the center’s training of older
workers. The center’s trainers can help young people just entering
the work force gain marketable job skills and learn how to do
Steve Degenfelder, a Natrona County School District trustee,
said he was shocked to see that nearly all of those who train at
the center step directly into a job.
“That was showstopper,” he said.
That training — whether on machinery or just safety
certification — could prove to be vital for high school graduates
in the county who choose to look for a job instead of immediately
attending college, he said. The school district is pushing to
implement that training for its students.
The center, owned by the Wyoming Contractors Association, was
founded in 2002. A new classroom building was added on the propery
in northeast Casper in 2008, and the training center’s property
doubled in size.
Safe driving is an important skill in Wyoming because of the
state’s far-flung work sites and high worker death rate — in which
nearly half of all workers killed on the job die in transportation
“Everything in this area moves on wheels,” Corlis said.
The center also tracks students after they leave the center, to
find out if they got jobs and if there’s anything the center should
adjust so training is more useful for future workers. Corlis
believes that follow-up is crucial to keeping the center’s training
up to date and relevant.
“We want to make sure we’re doing the right things,” he said.
“If we’re not, we’re not going to survive.”
WCA Named Veteran Small Bus. Champion of the Year
4/30/2007 12:00:00 AM
Casper – The Wyoming District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Wyoming Contractors Association (WCA), Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year 2007. Steve Despain, District Director, will be presenting this award to Mr. Chris Corlis, Director, Wyoming Contractors Association, at the Casper Chamber’s Annual Dinner to be held at the Parkway Plaza on May 7, 2007, at 5:30pm.
This award is given to an individual or entity who has fulfilled a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Evaluation criteria includes active support for legislative or regulatory action designed to help small businesses; evidence of increased business opportunities for veterans as a result of the nominee’s actions; advisory activities to improve awareness among veterans’ groups of small business opportunities; advocacy of special consideration for veteran-owned small businesses in government policymaking; demonstrated accomplishment in obtaining support within the community for the establishment of veteran-owned small businesses and other accomplishments demonstrating the noninee’s effective advocacy of veteran-owned small businesses. The President of the United States recognizes contributions of the small business community to the American economy and society by proclamation each year.
WCA was approached by employers in the Oil and Gas Industry who requested they put together a training program for workers interested in the industry. In January of 2005, they received a grant to train veterans that ran until the end of June 2006. They trained and placed 128 veterans at an average starting wage of $20.62 per hour. WCA received an additional grant that started in July of 2006, to train more veterans and was one of the few grants that were funded again and it was due to their previous success. Since July of 2006, they have trained and placed 58 veterans with small and large employers in the Oil and Gas Industry. To do this veteran training WCA was able to get the support of the Oil and Gas Industry who contributed over 1.5 million dollars in equipment so the training could be provided. Initially the training was designed for the States of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, but as of October, 2006, veterans from 44 states have been trained. This type of Regional Training under the Federal grant system was the first of its kind in the nation.
In addition to the Oil and Gas training, WCA provides training to the construction industry in welding, pipefitting and electrical and expects to broaden the available training to other occupations in the construction industry. WCA has trained 370 veterans since March of 2005.
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For more information about SBA’s programs for small businesses, call 307-261-6500 or TDY 307-261-6527 or visit the SBA’s extensive Web site at www.sba.gov/wy.
Petroleum Industry Hunts for U.S. Workers
7/7/2006 12:00:00 AM
by Jeff Brady
All Things Considered, July 7, 2006 · The oil and gas industry is worried about having enough workers for future expansion in the United States. Petroleum engineering hasn't been a popular profession among young people. Companies are even having trouble finding enough rig workers. But outreach efforts are beginning to pay off a little bit. An industry training center for rig workers is beginning to see a surge in enrollment.
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