Mining has, without question, seen the most growth out of any industry as of late. Pennsylvania is fortunate for being located in the wake of the oil-and-gas rich Marcellus Shale formation. In the next few years (by 2015), that wake will provide more than 12 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

This boom in natural gas drilling is giving manufactures reason to hire new workers. Youngstown, Ohio, is a great example of what seemed to, for years, be a depressed town until natural gas drilling became a new means for work and economic prosperity. Employment has more than doubled in the surrounding areas since 2003. Many of the new jobs pay an exceptional rate of $76,000 a year, according to a blog published in Friends of Natural Gas. Better yet is the employment numbers (in PA’s the natural gas industry), which have shot over 117% from 5,501 in 2008 to 11,913 in 2011. Were regulations to kick in immediately, such future progress would be immediately halted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics developed a chart to show just how productive the state’s economic output has been as a result of natural gas drilling.

For years, Pennsylvania remained cemented with the image of being stagnant in terms of economic potential, and relied on neighboring states to provide it with natural gas -most likely the result of cheap labor’s having been abundant in the South, which forced employers to make significant cuts. The "Rust Belt", made up by states such as Ohio, and cities such as Baltimore, were manufacturing hubs prior to the early and late recessions of the 2000’s. Outsourcing would be the demise of these sprawling cities, but drilling is proving to be the elixir, promoting job growth and consumer spending throughout the region.

Within the next decade, according to the Marcellus Shale Corporation, much of the reserves remaining untapped could become America’s leading supplier of natural gas by 2020. No longer an importer, and soon to be an exporter, the Department of Energy estimates Pennsylvania’s generating over 250,000 jobs by 2020. These facts only scrape the surface of what else could potentially be generated out of Pennsylvania’s most promising industry for employment.