Officials from Rend Lake College in Ina and Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg and announced the plan yesterday after Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law establishing rules companies must follow during hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
Both colleges plan to provide a safety program and other training needed by the industry. Southeastern Illinois College has submitted a custom training certificate program to the state for approval.
Rend Lake College plans to establish an associate degree program in oil and natural gas. Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.
Yesterday Quinn signed legislation giving the state the nation’s strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.
In a news release, Quinn says the law will “unlock the potential” for thousands of jobs in southern Illinois while protecting the environment.