November 17, 2012 – A gas boom has brought companies and workers into parts of Pennsylvania that lie atop the Marcellus Shale formation, a rich source of both natural gas and controversy. The common economic criticism of the drilling industry is that it booms and then busts, generating few local jobs and leaving little lasting economic benefit. But Lycoming County, in the north-central part of the state, is trying to change that. The county and its main city, Williamsport, are working diligently to position themselves not just as a host to the arriving companies, but also as a source of local workers for the industry and a long-term beneficiary of its local and national expansion. The industry helped give the Williamsport metropolitan area the seventh-fastest-growing economy in the United States in 2010.