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CB&I And Dominion Partner With WVNCC For Training Program

By Staff | Mar 7, 2012

The Dominion Resources Natrium processing plant, slated to be up and running by December, is slowly taking shape along the Ohio River in Marshall County. The plant is being built by CB&I, who is partnering with West Virginia Northern Community College to train workers for this and other projects. (Photo by Casey Junkins)

CB&I, West Virginia Northern Community College, and Dominion Transmission, Inc. have formed a partnership to establish a training program for the petrochemical construction industry with a focus on pipefitting.

The goal is to train 100 area residents.

Training in entry-level and mid-level pipefitting will prepare participants for entry-level, helper jobs. Courses are set to begin at the end of March at Northern’s Wheeling and New Martinsville campuses.

The initiative is underwritten by a grant funded by the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and facilitated by WVNCC.

The training program will create a large pool of qualified applicants that will help CB&I meet hiring goals for the $500 million Natrium fractionation facility the company is constructing for Dominion Transmission in Marshall County. The program will help trainees potentially secure construction jobs with CB&I if they meet the necessary requirements, and it will provide them with skills they can use to find employment with other companies in the region.

WVNCC President Martin J. Olshinsky said, “We’re very excited to be part of this partnership to prepare individuals not only for job opportunities that will be available soon but also for future opportunities that are sure to come with the Marcellus and Utica Shale resources.”

“We believe this program is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that will enhance the employment opportunities for a number of local residents,” said Steve Dimlich, CB&I’s vice president of corporate human resources.

“The program will benefit CB&I’s efforts to staff the Dominion Natrium project as openings occur, and it will expand the capacity of WVNCC to provide additional skilled training in the future.”

Jim Skidmore, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, said, “The ADVANCE grant program which helped fund this initiative was designed to allow our community and technical colleges to respond rapidly to workforce needs and also to build institutional capacity. This initiative demonstrates the effectiveness of our colleges in addressing training needs of employers.”

CB&I is planning to provide the course design and technical subject-matter experts to help teach the course in conjunction with WVNCC instructors. The course curriculum is the National Center for Construction Education and Research Contren Learning series, a nationally recognized, competency based training system for the construction industry. Participants will earn credit toward NCCER craft certification.

The natural gas liquids fractionation plant currently under construction by CB&I and developed for Dominion Transmission is expected to result in 40-50 full-time, permanent jobs, according to Dominion officials. As the market develops, DTI plans to build phase two of the project.

“This is an excellent initiative,” said John Love, vice president, pipeline engineering and plant operations, Dominion Transmission. “This training will provide northern West Virginia residents with solid, transferable skills that will be in greater demand as our industry continues to grow.”

Mike Koon, vice president of workforce development at WVNCC, noted that successful candidates for the program must pass a drug test and complete a pre-training assessment in reading and math. To be considered for the program and to schedule a time for the assessment, interested individuals should call 304-214-8974.

Both the beginning and intermediate classes will begin on March 26 with the beginning class ending on April 20 and the intermediate class ending on April 27. Classes will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week.

“This program is a win-win for all parties but most importantly for the community,” Koon said.

“It enables the college to prepare local residents for jobs in the area for the immediate term and it also builds capacity within the college to continue the training for future construction projects related to the petrochemical industry.”