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Valley News Dispatch

Armstrong County class offers pipeline training for free

Mary Ann Thomas
| Friday, July 13, 2018, 11:36 a.m.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media

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.

The monthlong course will start Aug. 6 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s campus in the Northpointe Technology Center, South Buffalo, and July 30 at United Mine Workers of America Career Center in Greene County.

Enrollments are now open now to potential students.

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

They must pass a drug test and a background check.

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

The program was designed by the Gas Technology Institute in collaboration with gas utility and contractor companies, workforce and economic development offices, community colleges and other venues.

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, which is a not-for-profit research and training organization headquartered in Chicago.

What is key about the training is that it’s for pipeline work, which is a more stable profession than drilling wells, Findle said.

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

This is the fourth monthlong training course held in Armstrong County since November, according to Findle.

More courses are planned in the future as the Gas Technology Institute has funding to train 50 or more students. Findle said his organization will try to secure another grant to offer more courses.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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