Training Programs Prepare Pennsylvanians for High-Demand Energy Careers

New workforce training programs have launched throughout the region to meet growing local demand for skilled workers across the energy supply chain. In Armstrong and Greene Counties, for example, free month-long training courses focused on pipeline construction and maintenance begin in August.

These programs, as the Observer-Reporter reports, are hosted through a partnership with the United Mine Workers and include “classroom and hands-on education to train entry-level workers.” For qualified workers, local, stable pipeline careers can mean starting wages at $40,000-$50,000.

As local energy companies and associated small businesses look to hire more people, the demand for skilled energy and pipeline workers remains, “to meet the needs of a rebounding shale economy,” the Business Times also reports.

Last week, during an interview with the Sun-Gazette, MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer discussed the industry’s general sense of “cautious optimism,” driven by new infrastructure, manufacturing and power generation capacity coming online.

“There’s a bit of a cautious optimism in our industry,” Spigelmyer said. …

As that infrastructure is built, it should stimulate growth and bring back more natural gas companies to the state, Spigelmyer said.

Pennsylvania’s capacity for moving natural gas has been inadequate and caused prices to increase for natural gas companies. With new pipelines being built to efficiently transport the product to other markets, there is hope among insiders that the industry is at an uptick, he said.

Here’s a look at one of the free initiatives geared toward the energy industry, as reported by the Tribune-Review.

Armstrong County, the Gas Technology Institute, and United Mine Workers of America are offering a free four-week training course for natural gas pipeline careers in Armstrong and Greene counties.

Local residents — including those from other counties — are eligible to enroll in the courses, which is valued at $3,500. …

The course, featuring classes each weekday, is known as the “Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Fuels Training Program.” …

A job fair is offered at the end of the course.

Jobs can start at $40,000 to $50,000, according to Patrick Findle, a senior program manager based in Pittsburgh for the Gas Technology Institute. …

There’s a big need for workers because there’s a lot of old pipelines needing refurbished, plus there’s new gas pipelines,” Findle said.

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