| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Peoples Gas plans North Shore complex

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Sept. 17, 2010

The new Peoples Natural Gas Co. said Thursday day it plans to create a corporate headquarters and customer service center with about 200 employees at the Del Monte Center on the North Shore.

The company, which was part of energy giant Dominion Resources Inc. until February, expects to start moving employees into the sixth floor of the building by late this year and to complete the move in the spring.

Peoples looked at dozens of locations. "In the end, having the city as a headquarters was important, having a place where people can take public transportation and that is centrally located," CEO Morgan O'Brien said. "The North Shore is an exciting place right now, with a lot of economic development."

About 65 employees will be hired for the customer call center, starting early next year. Richmond, Va.-based Dominion has been handling Peoples' customer service calls from a center in Charlotte, N.C.

SteelRiver Infrastructure Fund North America LP paid $780 million to acquire the Peoples business from Dominion. The company has been operating out of temporary offices at One PPG Place, Downtown, and a center in Wilkinsburg.

Eventually, Peoples will add as many as 200 employees in the Pittsburgh region, in administrative functions that Dominion handled out of state, O'Brien said. Peoples started early this year with about 525 workers and now has about 550.

The company's billing and credit functions, now handled in Virginia and Ohio under Dominion, will move to the Del Monte Center in the next year. About a dozen employees would handle those tasks, spokesman Barry Kukovich said.

O'Brien, who previously was chief executive at Duquesne Light Co., said customers will benefit by being able to call a local office for customer service.

"This will be a call center trained by us and managed by Peoples gas folks," he said.

Because workers will be familiar with city neighborhoods and other local communities, O'Brien expects they will be more committed to helping customers. "It just feels right," he said.

Peoples has about 359,000 customers in 16 counties in Western Pennsylvania.

The company's engineering and operation departments, with about 120 employees, will stay at the company's building on Pitt Street in Wilkinsburg.

"Part of the challenge for me to come on board is to create a Western Pennsylvania company. We lost our identity as part of a multistate holding company based in Virginia," O'Brien said.

The Peoples name dates to the late 1800s. Dominion acquired Peoples' former owner, Consolidated Natural Gas, in 2000.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
  2. Appeals court clears way for class-action lawsuit against PNC
  3. Plum High School teacher held for court on charges of intimidation
  4. Indiana County man dies when ATV strikes corn crib
  5. Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
  6. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  7. Westmoreland park police probe report of man who grabbed woman from Twin Lakes trail
  8. Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Fattah indicted in racketeering case
  9. School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania
  10. USW workers to march on ATI headquarters
  11. Mon Incline rehab postponed until after Labor Day