In episode 16, anchor Brock Yordy discusses the qualities that can help a person succeed in the drilling industry with Dave Bowers, instructor with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 AFL-CIO, Apprentice and Skill Improvement Program. Lots of people could be drillers, but the industry struggles to get them to choose drilling over other trades.

“We’ll bring in 400 general operator apprentices this year for running bulldozers, cranes and all the dirt and hoisting and portable work,” Bowers says. “We might, for the drilling industry, bring in 25. Those 25 are going to be asked to work a lot hard than those 400 are going to be asked to work.”

He adds: “We have to start believing that we are as important as every other one of these skilled trades. … Without geotechnical reports, you can’t build that building. Without water, no one can move into that building.”

This episode covers:

  • Safety culture in the drilling and construction industry
  • Setting a strong safety example for new drillers
  • OSHA’s Focus Four: falls, electrocution, struck-by and caught in-between
  • Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds to reduce runoff into the Mississippi River
  • Nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico and the Delta “dead zone”
  • The latest on WOTUS roundtables
  • The Defense Production Act support for clean energy like heat pumps
  • Opportunities for drillers in geothermal
  • Qualities to look for in drilling, construction professionals
  • How drilling compares to other skilled trades

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Drilling expert Brock Yordy is a regular The Driller contributing writer. Send news tips and interview suggestions to