From Black To Blue


An exciting opportunity is here to access a training program to build a career in the natural gas utility and pipeline business.  The training is free, companies are hiring and the careers are rewarding.

The Natural Gas Utility & Pipeline Field Skills Training Program is four weeks of pre-employment blended classroom and hands-on training that improves participant employability by providing basic understanding and awareness of natural gas, the natural gas utility and pipeline industry.  Delivered in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio, this program was designed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) in collaboration with industry (gas utility and contractor companies), WIBS, workforce and economic development offices, UMWA, community colleges and other venues.  Critical to program success is gas industry involvement through development of targeted curriculum content, hosting valuable field days and participating in the graduation day job fair to begin dialogue with prospective employees.  Employers are recognizing this program for the strong candidates it is developing and students value this “pipeline” to jobs.

Program Attributes:

  • Results: This program is demonstrating its success through jobs.  A student from our first class landed a job with a local gas utility one week after graduation!  This current program has resulted in over 24 interviews, 20 job offers, 8 continuing education enrollments and 12 job placements.  These numbers will continue to grow.  A total of 100 students will be trained this year under this program.
  • Jobs: Many jobs are currently available with gas utilities, pipelines, midstream and their contractors.  Industry activity replacing old lines and building out new pipelines is very robust and capable workforce will continue to be in demand due to level of work activity and demographics (older, retiring workforce).  A clear path to employment in the natural gas pipeline industry is an integral part of this program.
  • Instant Job Fair: The last day of the class includes a graduation celebration and “Instant Job Fair” with potential employers.  This feature has been recognized as very valuable by both graduates and companies to initiate discussions that can lead to employment.
  • Accolades (views of the program):
    • From Students: This is a good opportunity to distinguish yourself from all other candidates by investing the time in training and passing the drug and background tests, so the employers know you are serious and employable.  /  I wouldn’t pass it up.  It’s a great opportunity.  /  Being in that class has reset me on a better path and provided me with more tools to ensure a successful future.
    • From Companies: Unlike other initiatives that we support, your program actually produces candidates that we can hire.  /  The final day graduation celebration and job fair is a very effective way to make immediate connections with graduates in a comfortable setting.  / This program is becoming a feeder that provides hirable candidates for our company.
  • Students: Recruiting targets include displaced coal workers, coal-impacted communities, veterans, high school graduates, minorities and other displaced and impacted workers in Appalachia looking for an attractive career.
  • Rewarding Career: This program is a channel to an attractive career that features good benefits and continuous skills training.  Starting salaries can exceed $40,000 – $50,000 and, depending on skills possessed and obtained, advancement can lead to six-figure compensation.

Upcoming Classes

The next round of classes are scheduled in July and August at the following locations.  If you would like to participate, please apply online at:

  • July 30, 2018: United Mine Workers of America Career Center (UMWACC) in Green County
  • August 6, 2018: Armstrong County Industrial Development Council (ACIDC) in Armstrong County

Download and send in your application right away! Training Applicant Information 11-17

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If you are interested in getting started in From Black to Blue, or if you have any questions, you can email [email protected].