Nicor Gas announces a five-year, $500,000 commitment to the Quad County Urban League to support its partnership with the company’s award-winning Career Academy. The program is a free, six-week job readiness program designed to prepare participants for entry-level work in the utility industry, with a focus on natural gas.
Nicor Gas with the Quad County Urban League recently welcomed the program’s seventh cohort of students to meet the growing need for a qualified, skilled and diverse candidate pool within Nicor Gas and its building partners. , including but not limited to IBEW Local 19, NPL Construction Co., INTREN,
KS Energy Services and PipeStrong.
As a partner of the Nicor Gas Career Academy, Quad County Urban League is committed to providing industry-specific, on-site experiences and works with partners to provide industry credentials and certifications.
“We are incredibly proud of the students who have successfully participated in the Nicor Gas Career Academy in partnership with the Quad County Urban League and we look forward to watching them flourish as they take their next step in the gas industry. utilities,” said Wendell Dallas, president. and CEO of Nicor Gas. “Over the past four years, this program has helped the company fulfill its commitment to the 650 communities we are proud to serve daily with clean, safe and reliable natural gas now and in the future.”
Nicor Gas and IBEW Local 19, in partnership with NPL Construction Co. and the Quad County Urban League, launched the Nicor Gas Career Academy in 2018. To date, over 120 students have completed the program in the focused program. on natural gas operations training that incorporates basic mathematical concepts, safety, technology, employability skills, and personal and professional development. Participants also follow the Nicor Gas call center to understand the customer experience.
“Our partnership with Nicor Gas reflects an investment in the Quad County service area,” said Theodia Gillespie, President and CEO of Quad County Urban League. “Economic empowerment is essential to sustaining communities and when our residents have the kind of career opportunities this program creates, we all benefit.”
More than 2,000 Nicor Gas employees hold a variety of technical, administrative and professional positions, including those who design, construct, operate and maintain the company’s more than 34,000 miles of underground pipelines. Based on age and years of service, 35% of Nicor Gas’ workforce is expected to retire within the next 10 years.
Recruiting and training diverse cohorts is a primary focus of the Nicor Gas Career Academy, which received a 2021 Center for Energy Workforce Development Impact Award in the Community Partner category for its partnership with the Quad County Urban League. The CEWD Impact Award recognizes a business for developing unique connections within the local community – with educators, minority-facing organizations, workforce systems or other groups – that have delivered proven results to nurture the talent pool.
More than 50% of program participants have obtained full-time positions with Nicor Gas or one of the partner companies. To learn more about the Nicor Gas Career Academy, visit www.nicorgas.com/careeracademy.