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Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 8, 2014

Here’s How the Marcellus Shale Industry Gave Me a Second Career

Penn Live (Brian Hollister): I was retired at age 49. After service in the military and a career as an Electronic Quality Engineer, I was pleased to be working independently at what I enjoy most, small construction projects. I was living comfortably while doing work for friends and community members.

But then came the economic collapse of 2008, and like so many Americans, my fortune - quite literally - changed. Overnight I lost much of what I'd saved for my future and I needed to return to work. It's a familiar story. After time away, the job market I found was quite different from the one I'd left behind.

Many local sources of employment had disappeared. But this story has a twist: a new industry was arriving, and it would change everything - for me and for our community. By now, most people know about the discovery of natural gas here Pennsylvania, and the revolutionary advancements in technology that enable us to extract the gas from Marcellus Shale deposits.

I witnessed first-hand the impact on our community when local jobs in farming, logging and factories dried up.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.