Two colleges in southern Illinois have announced a cooperative agreement to provide training in the emerging field of high volume oil and gas drilling. Officials from Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg and Rend Lake College in Ina announced the plan Monday after Gov. 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.