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Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

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Oil Industry Needs You!

Young oil industry employees are required to go through stringent safety training that did not exist decades ago.

| BY Kent McDill

For decades, environmentalists and others have shouted warnings that eventually the world will run out of oil.

Now, the oil industry is shouting that it is running out of employees.

Many of the employees that worked the fields for the oil industry in its boom time are retiring, and they are either being replaced by inexperienced younger workers or not being replaced at all. The industry is referring to the phenomenon as a “crew change’’ but it is raising concerns throughout the industry.

This is taking place as the industry is exploring new parts of the world, like the Arctic, and requiring more experience at new challenges, not less experience.

This concern comes to a head with the publication of a new book, Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster, by former drill ship captain John Konrad, who claims that no one in the engineering department of BP at the site of the spill had more than six months of experience.

The oil industry hiring practices changed in the 1980s when the industry suffered a significant downturn. Employees were initially laid off, and they were never replaced when the industry came back up. Now, with the industry facing challenges from alternative energy, many of the engineers and scientists who worked for the companies from the 1970s on are retiring, and their replacements are much younger and far less experienced.

Today, it takes much longer for an oil company employee to get approved to be out on a rig. Safety concerns, some of them a direct result of the Gulf oil spill, have produced numerous educational programs that are required for drill workers. While many such training programs were voluntary years ago, now the federal government has made them mandatory.

As a result, employees are months or years away from being serviceable on an oil drill site from the moment they are hired, as opposed to being one safety briefing away from getting out in the field.

Meanwhile, an effort to include more women in the oil industry is picking up steam and providing a path to greater employment numbers. According to an American Petroleum Institute study, women made up only 19 percent of the oil industry workforce in 2014. In the workforce of all industries in the U.S., women represented 47 percent.

While the API report said more women should be showing up in white collar positions in the industry, they are not expected to grow their number in the blue collar jobs, where their number is more needed.

Oil companies are participating in programs to promote the idea of females studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs in high school and college, hoping that path leads them into the oil industry eventually.


About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.