Forget about the Recession. Pennsylvania has begun a period of unlimited opportunities - and you can be part of the boom.

The boom is Marcellus Shale, and industry that is growing exponentially and expected to continue for the rest of our lifetimes. The natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formations stretches over 95,000 square miles, with 40,000 to 50,000 square miles of the formations forming what is being called a Fairway through the state of Pennsylvania - and more than a third of the natural gas produced came from the northern tier of Bradford, Tioga and Susquehanna counties.

The Marcellus Shale formation is estimated to hold in the trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. In 2010, 256 billion cubic feet. A recent report indicated 1,147 Marcellus Shale gas wells in operation.

According to Danielle Boston, Director of Public Outreach Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, this translates into about 100,000 jobs-and the number is growing. How can you prosper in this Marcellus Shale boom?

One way is to attend the Marcellus Shale and Your Business seminar, sponsored by MetroAction and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. The seminar will be held at Keystone College, La Plume, PA on March 17 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

"As development of Marcellus Shale natural gas continues to grow in Pennsylvania, so do the business opportunities," said Deborah Bertha, Training and Development Specialist at MetroAction. "If you own a small to medium-sized business or are considering starting one, you can't afford to miss this program."

The program presenters are Janice Lobdell of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), Mike Narcavage of the Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Joann Kowalsk of the Penn State Cooperative Extension will lead a panel discussion with several companies who are already responding. Experts will provide information on small business planning and financing.

Mike Narcavage will discuss Chesapeake Energy's operations, what they are looking for from potential vendors, steps to becoming established as a vendor, and best practices for successfully working in the industry.

The featured speaker, Janice Lobdell representing PIOGA, is an independent consultant providing community relations services to Northern Tier communities affected by Marcellus Shale development. She will explain the horizontal drilling technology, potential economic impacts, and supply chain opportunities.

Danielle Boston, Director of Public Outreach Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association provided information on the substance of Ms. Lobdell's presentation.

"There will be an overview of the Marcellus Shale industry-how we do what we do, and why we do what we do-from start to finish," Boston said. "The process will be explained from the start of seismic testing, and leasing of land, to when the gas goes to market, all the way to when the rig is gone, the well is closed, and the site is reclaimed."

Wells are typically drilled by independent exploration companies, and these companies hire 20 to 100 subcontractors at each site. This is a list of business opportunities available at drilling sites at various phases of a project:

Ÿ Economic Development

Ÿ Electrical & Plumbing Ÿ Employment Services

Ÿ Energy Conservations Services

Ÿ Energy Management Services

Ÿ Engineers

Ÿ Environmental/Regulatory Consultants

Ÿ Equipment Manufacturers

Ÿ Equipment Suppliers

Ÿ Excavation/Construction

Ÿ Fencing

Ÿ Finance/Investment

Ÿ Food & Beverage

Ÿ Sand & Waste Water Transportation

Ÿ Gas Measurement

Ÿ Gas Transmission/Distribution

Ÿ Geological & Geophysical Services

Ÿ GIS/Mapping Services

Ÿ Graphics/Design/Printing

Ÿ Health Care Services

Ÿ Housing/Hotels

Ÿ Information-Data Services

Ÿ Insurance

Ÿ Laboratory Services

Ÿ Land Services

Ÿ Landscaping

Ÿ Logging/Timber

Ÿ Machine Shop Services

Ÿ Midstream Pipeline

Ÿ Natural Gas Development

Ÿ Paint

Ÿ Pipe/Equipment Insulation

Ÿ Real Estate (Commercial and Residential)

Ÿ Refrigeration Sales, Installation & Service

Ÿ Safety

Ÿ Security

Ÿ Signage

Ÿ Supply Chain Management

Ÿ Surveying

Ÿ Technical Training

Ÿ Title Services

Ÿ Trailer Sales and Rentals

Ÿ Transportation

Ÿ Trucking/Hauling

Ÿ Universities / Education & Research

Ÿ Vehicle Repair, Rental, Sales

Ÿ Waste / Water Treatment

Ÿ Welding & Fabricating

Ÿ Well Service

"Marcellus Shale gas production is an industry that is growing," Boston said. "It is going to be touching many industries and will be a long term development in Pennsylvania. People are excited that we have a domestic energy source that is going to bring economic development and jobs. These are exciting times for growth and energy in Pennsylvania and our nation."

For details and to register, see www.metroaction.org/seminars.html, or contact Deborah Bertha at: (570) 342-7711.