There's no denying that because of Eagle Ford Shale, there is an industry job boom happening right now, right here, in the Coastal Bend. This boom has created a need for skilled workers in our area, and the next generation of skilled workers are soon to be ready to enter the workforce, but first, they're going to have to graduate.

All of this is what lead to the inspiration behind two local volunteer-based groups to team up and create a competition to inspire our next workforce generation to stay in the Coastal Bend, and to stay to drug-free.

On Monday, Jan. 13, the Flint Hills Resources Community Action Council, along with the Corpus Christi Film Alliance, announced the kick off of a brand new film challenge, the PowerX3Jobs Video Contest.

"Industry jobs in South Texas, and all throughout this area, are booming right now because of Eagle Ford Shale, so one of the things that the Community Action Council is trying to do is to encourage middle school students, and high school students, to consider jobs in that industry, in oil and gas," said Omar Becerra, president of the Corpus Christi Film Alliance. "This is a way to reach that audience, through video, and hopefully through that medium, we'll be able to reach those students."

The contest invites all amateur, professional, and student filmmakers to participate in creating a three-minute video based on the specific message the PowerX3Jobs Video Contest is seeking; that there are "incredible employment opportunities in the Coastal Bend" through Power X3 Jobs.

According to the contest website, the message is to be broken down as follows: A Power X3 Job (must be pronounced: power times 3) is one of the 65,000 well-paying jobs available in our area, primarily due to Eagle Ford Shale production and a significant number of industrial construction projects; a job requiring training of 2 years or less available locally; a job where you can earn $30,000 plus if you finish high school and stay drug-free.

"This is really a project of the Flint Hills Resources Community Action Council, and all of the volunteers that have come together to say, okay, there is a community-wide need right now, and we've got some great students here," said Darcy Schroeder, Flint Hills Resources spokesperson. "How do we educate them and create that excitement for them to be prepared for the workforce here, locally?"

The video submission is allowed to be three-minutes in length, or less, and must tackle the PowerX3Jobs message mentioned above, including staying drug free. Beyond that, there are no other limiting components; contestants can be as creative as they want.

"The level of creativity that they are looking for is pretty much unlimited. They're looking for anything that will get the message across - the workforce in the Coastal Bend, and also, staying drug free. Because if you're going into one of those jobs, you need to be drug free, you need to be clear-headed and focused. Those jobs require a lot of mental focus," said Becerra. "It's really important for kids to be encouraged to stay drug free in order for them to get those jobs, and make a lot of money doing it."

The deadline to submit your video is Monday, Feb. 17. A total of $3,950 in cash prizes. Winners will be announced during the iDiscovery Safari Career Fair at the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown, on March 1.

For more information on the video contest, visit the official website at www.PowerX3Jobs.org.