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Zach Conrad

Completions Engineer, Coterra

New Milford, Pennsylvania

Coterra Engineer Zach Conrad explains how the natural gas revolution is benefiting his hometown

Energy Jobs Are Revitalizing Pennsylvania

Coterra Engineer Zach Conrad explains how the natural gas revolution is benefiting his hometown

August 15, 2022

Zach Conrad is dedicated to helping his northeastern Pennsylvania hometown thrive.

“Everything I do in life, I try to do for my community and make my community a better place,” says Conrad, a born-and-raised New Milford, Pennsylvania resident and member of the New Milford Borough Council. He keeps the community front of mind in his personal life, as well as in his role as a completions engineer at Coterra Energy. He helps to build the wells used to extract natural gas and oil.

“This is basically my backyard,” says Conrad. “I’m looking at the environmental impacts we can have on it. What can I do to make it cleaner and be a good neighbor?”

There are many ways to reach those goals, such as capitalizing on technology, learning from mentors, and gleaning sustainability ideas from other industries.

Using Tech to Drive Innovation

Technological advances alone have helped cut costs, improve operational efficiency, and reduce environmental impacts. Some of that progress is “revolutionary,” Conrad states.

“We’re now able to implement machine learning,” he says, as an example. “We plug all these data points in and get actual results back. It can sift through data so much faster than a human can and get real-world results.”

This approach helps make energy production safer and more efficient. With sensors, natural gas and oil companies can monitor production sites regularly, looking for small problems and performing preventive maintenance to prevent future issues.

Sharing Insights with Others

Since he’s a passionate proponent of natural gas and oil, Conrad is often approached by relatives, friends, and neighbors looking for insights and updates.

“They come to me with a lot of questions,” he notes. “It’s an awesome opportunity to explain why we do what we do, how we do it, how we care about the environment, how we are constantly looking at ways to reduce our emissions, and just keep Northeast Pennsylvania a great place.”

A Robust Job Market

The energy boom has brought countless new jobs to his community.

“Oil and gas have rejuvenated and revitalized our area,” he says. “You don’t have to go to Binghamton, Scranton, or New York to get a good job. You can stay up here, stay around your family. You can find a job at any level — you can be a water truck driver, an engineer, a salesperson. There are so many different opportunities.”

Giving Back to the Community

Conrad is inspired by how the energy firms in the area contribute to the community at large, such as helping to build hospitals and donating to local food shelters.

“They’re really influential in the area. There’s just so much they do to give back to the local community,” he adds. “That’s how I ended up gravitating towards this industry.”

As he goes forward in life, Conrad wants to make that type of altruism a priority.

“A hundred years from now, what’s going to matter is what we did to give back,” he says. “That is something I want to get behind and embrace.”

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