Association Offers Free Extended Membership for Unemployed in Oil Industry

Due to an increase in layoffs in the oil industry, the International Society of Automation is offering its out-of-work members a chance to continue their membership with the organization for a limited time for free.

The recent drop in oil prices is great for consumers and many businesses, but it’s not so great for those who work in the energy industry.

Prices of crude oil have dropped from a peak of $107 a barrel last June to around $50 a barrel, according to a recent report from CNN Money. One result of those declining prices has been the loss of more than 50,000 jobs.

Data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas shows that oil job layoffs increased by 3,900 percent in the first three months of this year alone, compared to same period last year.

“People in the industry are taking it on the chin,” Tobias Read, CEO of Swift Worldwide Resources, an oil and gas personnel provider, told CNN Money.

Given this rise in unemployment, the International Society of Automation, which represents professionals who apply engineering and technology to improve automation and control systems, is offering unemployed members a chance to extend their memberships for free.

“The significant drop in the price of oil—while a boon to consumers and many manufacturers and businesses—has severely curtailed energy exploration and negatively affected many companies that operate in the field,” Rick Roop, 2015 ISA president, said in a statement. “We want our members who experience job loss to know that we understand the difficulties they’re experiencing. We want to help them maintain their full membership in and connection to ISA during their transition to new positions.”

Effective retroactively to January 1 of this year, the “Unemployed Membership Benefit” extends membership by nine months, as long as affected members contact ISA within the three-month grace period after their current membership term expires.

This is the second time the association has offered to extend memberships. ISA’s board approved the benefit in 2009 after the Great Recession but did not renew it once the world economy recovered.

“At that time, the energy industry was rapidly growing,” Roop said. “In fact, it was a key job generator helping to lead the United States and other countries out of the recession. The oil price crash that began in 2014 has reversed things considerably.”

(Digital Vision/Thinkstock)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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