NORTH CANTON -- A drilling job fair hosted by Chesapeake Energy drew a line of more than a thousand. Organizers say people began showing up as early as 4:30 a.m. for the event that was held in North Canton, at Kent State Stark County campus.
Applicants came eagerly looking to land an opportunity with Chesapeake Energy, a company that drills deep below the ground to release natural oil and gas. Ooponents refer to the drilling as "fracking."
The Oklahoma-based company currently has 8 rigs in Ohio and will add 12 more rigs by the end of the year. All of that means more opportunities as the company plans to use the local workforce to operate them.
"Chesapeake is in the process of hiring Ohioans for Ohio jobs that will be here for a long time," said Mike Chadsey, from Energy in Depth.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown kicked off the event that targeted vets like Air Force veteran Chris Carroll, who hopes he'll soon call one of those jobs, his own.
"I do have at least a decade worth of petroleum experience," Carroll said. About 100 full-time positions were up for grabs.
Will Sullivan was one of the recruiters. He said the jobs "range from a rig hand or service technical out in the field, up to a pumper or engineer."
The event was also open to the public.
"I made myself distinct and put big words and cool things on my resume so, hopefully, it gets some attention," said Ben McMillan.
But the attention wasn't all good.
Protestors demonstrated against the process, claiming the job opportunities simply weren't worth the environmental risks.
Protestor Ann Leluking said, "There were 12 earthquakes that were a result of a disposal well of fracking water."