GTI-Designed Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Field Skills Training Program Begins

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A new, targeted training program for displaced coal workers and others in the Appalachian region will introduce participants to natural gas utility and pipeline operations careers and enable them to become stronger candidates for jobs.

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The pre-employment training program includes four weeks of blended classroom and hands-on training that provides a basic understanding and awareness of natural gas, the natural gas utility and pipeline industry, associated equipment, procedures, and operations.

It will enable students to pursue local employment in the natural gas industry, where pipeline operations crews will be in great demand as the workforce experiences significant retirements while pipeline upgrade and build-out activities will continue at a high level.

The Natural Gas Utility & Pipeline Field Skills Training Program is four weeks of blended classroom and hands-on training that improves employability by providing a basic understanding and awareness of natural gas, the natural gas utility and pipeline industry.

This program was designed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) in collaboration with and delivered at training venues in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio.  Key program attributes include:

• Pre-employment training program to introduce participants to natural gas pipeline careers.

•  Potential candidates include displaced coal workers (targeted group), veterans, high school graduates, and other displaced workers looking for an attractive, well-paying career.

•  The program is funded by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), so it is tuition-free for participants.

•  Starting salaries can exceed $50,000 and depending on skills and career path can lead to six-figure compensation.

•  Jobs are currently available with utilities, midstream and their contractors.  Industry activity replacing old lines and building out new pipelines is very robust and workforce is in demand.

•  The last day of the class includes a graduation celebration and job fair with potential employers.

Thanks to funding from ARC, the cost of tuition will be covered for eligible students in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio. Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc. is the grant recipient and is the fiscal agent for the initiative.

In designing the program, GTI — a leading research, development and training organization addressing global energy challenges — received input from natural gas industry partners.  Various venues in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio will be used for this program.

The first round of classes started Nov. 30. Armstrong County Industrial Development Council in Freeport, Pennsylvania. The next session in Freeport starts on Jan. 8, 2018 and on Jan. 15, 2018 at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Contact Patrick Findle, GTI program manager at patrick.findle@gastechnology.org or 412-577-8350 for more information.

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