The workforce of the shale natural gas industry in Ohio was up 17.7% in the fourth quarter last year compared with the same period in 2011, according to data from the state Department of Job and Family Services. Growth in core industry employment was strongest in the Dayton region, at 42.6%. "Dayton is earning a reputation across the state as a major player in the natural gas industry," said Chris Kershner, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce's vice president for public policy and economic development.

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