LAFAYETTE — The help-wanted signs flashed brightly at Lafayette’s signature oil and gas show Thursday, drawing hundreds of applicants dressed to the nines and armed with their printed work histories for inspection by hiring managers who have many positions to fill.
“Lots of applicants. Lots of qualified applicants. And a lot of entry-level, which we need,” said Morgan Gautreaux, a human resources generalist at Oil States Energy Services.
Oil States has a need for an additional 20 to 25 employees in the Acadiana area, Gautreaux said.
“Wireline, gravel pack, frack,” she said, listing the types of jobs associated with drilling for oil and gas, an industry currently booming and looking for hands.
The industry’s gaping need for qualified employees was a recurring theme at LAGCOE 2013, the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition that wrapped up Thursday at the Cajundome and Convention Center.
LAGCOE Communications Director Claire Thom said more than 2,000 applicants signed up for the job fair, which ran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Thom said applicants who preregistered included some from Brooklyn, Destin, Fla. and Houston.
Joseph Jones said segments within the industry — oil and gas development onshore and offshore — are fighting for the same experienced drillers and engineers.
“The problem is there’s simply not enough people,” said Jones, a business development executive for OilCareers.com, which has a database filled with resumés of oil and gas white collar workers.
Jones said OilCareers.com is forecasting the need for 2.5 million more industry employees by 2035.
He said the hot jobs now are in the engineering fields dealing with subsea equipment, drilling, well completion and production. Jones said OilCareers.com has 850,000 resumes on its site, and another 650,000 people who do not post their resumés but who receive email alerts when a position they want becomes available at a location they want.
Jason Lopez, a leadership and career consultant, also estimated millions of employees will be needed in the next 10 years to fill the slots of retiring baby boomers. Lopez the industry is suffering from the diaspora of oil workers who left the industry in the mid-1980s during an extreme slowdown. Many of the workers never returned.
Lopez said he was in college in the early 1990s, when the memory of the mid-’80s was fresh and few entered college to study oil.
“I remember you were stupid if you went into oil and gas.”
University of Louisiana at Lafayette petroleum engineering junior Adeboyo Ogunsemowo, 27 and originally from Nigeria, knows he’s likely to be scooped up after he graduates in December 2014.
Ogunsemowo stood in one of lines that had formed to speak to recruiters at CAD Control Systems, a service company with international business locations, including in Nigeria.
“I’m trying to get information on what is out there in terms of an internship,” he said.
Nearby, in the line to speak to service company Weatherford International, were Brian Deroune and his wife of 33 years, Annette.
“He would like a job in the Middle East,” Annette Deroune said.
Brian Deroune has worked on Gulf of Mexico production platform all his adult life, and currently works for The Wood Group as lead operator aboard a Sandridge Energy platform.
“I’ll see what Weatherford has,” he said. “I’m checking everything international.”