MCCC Launches Natural Gas Industry Workforce Development Initiative

Gas Distribution Pipeline Mechanic Introduction ProgramMontgomery County Community College is launching a workforce development program in partnership with PECO to train area residents for potentially high-paying union jobs in the natural gas distribution industry.

The nine-week Gas Distribution Pipeline Mechanic Introduction Program runs from July 10 to September 6 with all classes held on MCCC’s West Campus at 140 College Drive in Pottstown, Pa. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Fridays. The total cost of the program is $5,189.

The College will hold open houses to learn more about the program on May 24 at 10:30 a.m. at CareerLink, 1855 New Hope Street, in Norristown; and on June 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room on MCCC's West Campus, 101 College Drive in Pottstown.

To register for the open houses, call Debbie Serano at 215-218-3886.

The hands-on program prepares students for entry-level employment in the natural gas industry. Students will learn how to perform tasks needed to install and maintain pipelines for natural gas distribution systems to meet the increased regional demand for skilled labor in the natural gas distribution industry.

“More than 600 skilled workers are expected to be needed for repair and replacement of distribution pipelines in the region over the next several years,” said Jim Fox, executive director of Workforce Development at MCCC. “MCCC is dedicated to working with PECO, and other businesses and industries in the region, to develop a skilled workforce for the 21st century and help area residents get the training they need to be desirable candidates in the competitive job market.”

The curriculum was developed through a coordinated effort led by the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development, in partnership with PECO, and was supported by industry counterparts, including Philadelphia Gas Works, Henkels & McCoy and Utility Lines Services. The Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development is a non-profit organization that is a partnership of Drexel University and five areas community colleges including the Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware County Community College, Bucks County Community College, Camden County College and Montgomery County Community College.

The Consortium provides a comprehensive, coordinated approach to developing a highly skilled workforce for the region. The combined efforts of the five community colleges, which emphasize advanced technical training, and a university, which offers advanced education, creates a unique model for education and training.