Tidewater Community College’s partnership with Virginia Natural Gas and Virginia Gas Operators Association to train veterans and transitioning military will be recognized for outstanding achievement in October.

The award from the state’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Division of Glass and Oil acknowledges a joint venture or partnership that made a positive impact on the natural gas industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. TCC will receive the award at a dinner in Abingdon.

TCC developed the workforce development initiative last year that connects transitioning military and their family members to meaningful employment in the natural gas industry.

The SkillBridge-approved weeklong training program on the Virginia Beach Campus is in collaboration with Virginia Natural Gas, the City of Virginia Beach and Virginia Gas Operators Association member companies.

The expansion of pipeline infrastructure replacement programs across the state requires gas companies and their contractors to hire skilled labor to advance pipeline modernization efforts. Two cohorts of 11 students each have graduated with a third group beginning on the Virginia Beach Campus on Sept. 24. GI Bill® funding is offered through TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE).

“Everyone who has completed the course has had a face-to-face job interview from one of the employers supporting the program,” said Chris Blow, project coordinator, military contract programs for the CMVE. “Our regional partners have contributed to the overall success of this program.”

Taught by experienced utility professionals, the curriculum focuses primarily on natural gas pipeline safety, code compliance and operations. It is designed to provide veterans with basic working knowledge that will be useful in helping to prepare them for employment in the natural gas industry.

For information on the program and eligibility, contact Blow at cblow@tcc.edu or call 757-822-7725.