Colleges Expand Offerings Amid Natural Gas Boom

Ann McClure's picture

Shuttered businesses and boarded-up houses dot the streets of historic Zanesville, the struggling river city where Cory May is starting a life with his young wife.

Until recently, job prospects in his native eastern Ohio were grim -- even for a hard-working Marine reservist willing to work hard or relocate. May's mother works as a school janitor in Cambridge, his nearby hometown. His machinist dad is among the county's 11 percent unemployed. Most of his better situated friends are in the military or work at one of the area's remaining factories.

"It's either that or working minimum wage for the rest of your life, and let's be honest, who really wants to do that?" said May, a sturdy 23-year-old who's done a tour each in Iraq and Afghanistan since he turned 18.

The natural gas industry has changed his prospects.

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