Virginia Natural Gas Launches Workforce Development Initiative to Provide Natural Gas Industry Training to Veterans
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Sept. 12, 2017 – Virginia Natural Gas, a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program certified company, announced today a new workforce development initiative that trains veterans to fill the growing need for skilled workers in the natural gas industry.
The weeklong training program, which was developed in collaboration with Tidewater Community College, the City of Virginia Beach and Virginia Gas Operators Association member companies, will be offered to former and transitioning military service members at the Advanced Technology Center on TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus starting Monday, Sept. 18.
Training and developing highly skilled workers ready to assume roles in construction and other areas are critical as the natural gas industry prepares for a new generation of workers.
“Our industry has a tremendous opportunity to leverage the skills and leadership of the pool of talented veterans in Hampton Roads and throughout southeastern Virginia to help meet our needs,” said Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “We take great pride in leading this effort that will create a pathway for rewarding careers in natural gas.”
“TCC is proud to partner with Virginia Natural Gas in this initiative,” said Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, college president. “We not only help our veterans and transitioning military go further, but we also are committed to developing the workforce our employers need to compete in their industries, both today and in the future.”
In addition to bridging the skills gap, the expansion of pipeline infrastructure replacement programs across the state requires gas companies and their contractors to hire skilled labor to further the pipeline modernization efforts. Virginia Natural Gas has received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) to accelerate the infrastructure construction projects, which will replace more than 200 miles of aging pipeline infrastructure through 2021.
Taught by experienced utility professionals, the curriculum focuses primarily on natural gas pipeline safety, code compliance and operations. It is designed to provide veterans with basic working knowledge that will be useful in helping to prepare them for future employment in the natural gas industry.
Participants also will learn basic pipeline safety standards and proper field techniques, including damage prevention, line locating and pipe installation, through classroom instruction and hands-on training. A certificate will be awarded to participants who successfully complete the 37-credit hour program.
The model will serve as the foundation for expanding the training program across the state. Veterans can use SkillBridge and GI Bill® education benefits to cover the cost and fees for the program. For more information about the workforce development program and eligibility, contact Chris Blow at TCC's Center for Military and Veterans Education at 757-822-7725 or email@example.com.
Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to 293,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers, and in 2016 was ranked second in customer satisfaction among mid-size utilities in the South and third nationally by J.D. Power and Associates. Also in 2016, Virginia Natural Gas was recognized as an Environmental Champion by Cogent™ Reports and as the Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/VaNaturalGasCo) and Twitter (Twitter.com/VaNaturalGas).
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.6 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com.
About Tidewater Community College
Founded in 1968, Tidewater Community College helps students of all ages and backgrounds achieve their educational and career goals. TCC is the largest provider of higher education and workforce solutions in southeastern Virginia, serving both students and local employers with in-demand academic and career programs. It is one of 23 schools that make up the Virginia Community College System. For information, visit tcc.edu.
Virginia Natural Gas
Tidewater Community College