The Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative that was created in 2014 by Kentucky
Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Representative Hal Rogers has generated much buzz
in the area regarding the creation of new jobs and growth in industry. Along with
the move to improve high-speed Internet service in Kentucky, the initiative has also
pushed the creation of new and different jobs, as well as education to prepare the
workforce for those positions.
A new program at Somerset Community College, the only of its kind in the state, is seeking to aid in the creation of a prepared and educated workforce in the natural gas industry. In 2015, SCC began offering a program that leads to a Natural Gas Service Technician certificate. Participants attend classes at the Pulaski County Area Technology Center, located at 3827 N. US Hwy. 27 in Somerset. Classes are held four days per week in the late afternoon and evening. The program is currently enrolling for the Spring 2016 semester, which begins in January, 2016.
Gas technicians work in commercial establishments, industrial buildings, and residences to install, service, maintain, troubleshoot and repair gas systems and appliances. The systems and appliances that gas technicians typically work on include boilers, ovens, central heating systems, gas fires, water heaters, shower units and more. Common duties of a gas technician include installing and connecting appliances to gas, water, and electrical supplies, performing maintenance checks on systems, testing safety devices and controls, identifying gas leaks, replacing or repairing parts and recording details of repairs.
The SCC Natural Gas Service Technician program will teach students to complete job tasks in five different areas of natural gas service. These include the following:
Work related safety
Installing and maintaining customer service lines, and installing and maintaining meter and regulator sets
Installing gas operated equipment
Installing and inspecting gas distribution piping, and
Monitoring cathodic protection systems.
An example of gas/utility companies in the area that may seek to hire graduates of this program include Duke Energy, LG and E, Ferrell Gas, Amerigas, Atmos Energy, Kentucky Gas Association members and many more. The City of Somerset also has a natural gas distribution system and approximately 155 miles of transmission line that runs through five counties, according to the city's website. Many natural gas service technicians have the opportunity to work in numerous places in the United States.
To apply for this unique program, complete the on-line SCC application. After the application has been submitted and processed, participants will receive additional information regarding the status of admission by mail. In the meantime, an official high school transcript and all post-secondary transcripts should be sent to SCC directly from the high school. Also submit ACT, COMPASS and/or KYOTE scores. If you have attended any other colleges, please have a transcript sent directly from the institution to SCC. Hand delivered transcripts cannot accepted. This program is eligible for financial aid[BROKEN LINK].
The certificate program at SCC can be completed in two semesters. To find out more, contact Alesa Johnson, associate dean of Workforce Solutions at SCC at (606) 451-6693 or certificate program instructor Chris Cross at (606) 678-2998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.