As reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal a number of coalitions and energy industry members are partnering to develop a state of the art energy infrastructure training facility that will focus on preparing current and potential industry employees to install, maintain and inspect the many types of energy infrastructure in the Commonwealth.
On the 800 acre plot of land in Freeport, Pennsylvania workers will be able to take part in live simulations and expert led training sessions to stay up to date on best practices to maximize safety. The complex will offer simulations in rural, suburban, urban and industrial settings to cover all variety of settings. For workers in more remote parts of the Commonwealth a bevy of online and virtual courses will also be provided.
Truly a ‘one stop shop’ for infrastructure workers that is accessible statewide.
Investment in a facility of this nature and size speaks to a number of positives for the state. First, allowing industry candidates to gain the certifications and trainings of industry members will help to strengthen the workforce for infrastructure jobs. These are good-paying, family sustaining jobs that are obviously in demand.
Second, committing to a long term project like the CIWA training facility speaks to the positive outlook of the energy industry in Pennsylvania. With access to the Marcellus and Utica shale reserves Pennsylvania has decades of work ahead to fully realize the state’s resources.
Andrew Kauser, CEO of the program, touched on this “The goal here is to establish a complete suite of training programs to support critical infrastructure—gas, water, electricity and telecommunications. And have all that infrastructure interrelated so that when a gas installer is working out in the field in the simulated environment they will encounter real world situations with water pipelines and electrical lines as they are doing their work.”
A robust and independent energy industry for Pennsylvania is not as simple as having the necessary infrastructure. The other side of the coin requires that the workforce be properly trained and educated. The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance is excited to see this facility, a long-term investment in Commonwealth energy, come to fruition.