By Blue Jenkins, President of Washington Gas
For generations, Washington Gas has been proud to serve as the DC-area’s hometown essential natural gas energy provider, employing many in the region with good jobs and steady careers. Today, we are committed to creating even more career opportunities in the energy industry through partnerships to prepare workers with the training and tools to be successful.
Throughout our more than 170-year history, we have always believed in being a vital part of the communities we serve. An essential part of that commitment includes creating a pathway for people to join the local workforce to get to good-paying jobs to support their families.
We know firsthand about the value of talented workers. Our mission as a company includes providing safe and reliable service as a top priority. To achieve this, the importance of qualified employees cannot be overstated to maintain and enhance a vast distribution infrastructure across Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia that serves more than 1.2 million customers. Our talented crews and contractors are vital to effectively managing our day-to-day operations.
We believe that a key to our success in this work going forward will be our partnerships with organizations with deep roots in our communities that share our passion for cultivating a qualified workforce, especially during times of high unemployment.
Our programs are a great fit for those interested in competitive, entry-level jobs in the growing energy space. Washington Gas’ range of support helps develop the core skillsets and credentials prospective employers expect from candidates, and includes financial investment, curriculum guidelines, training tools, career development and technical workshops. Over the last three years, we have invested about $2.5 million in these programs with additional funding opportunities for similar programs pending.
Together, our partnerships are shaping the next generation of energy workers:
DC Infrastructure Academy (DCIA) – As infrastructure emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the DCIA in 2018, at the Department of Employment Services, to build the skillsets required for infrastructure jobs in Washington, D.C. DCIA coordinates, trains, screens, and recruits District residents to position them for careers in infrastructure with leading companies in a high-demand field
Goodwill of Greater Washington – Launched in 2021, the Energy & Construction Career Training Program aims to address critical work shortages in the Virginia area, prepare a base of qualified workers, and increase access to employment in sustainable careers across the energy and construction industries.
Virginia Tech University (VA Tech) – In 2021, our partnership began as part of the Virginia Department of Education’s ‘17th career cluster’, the latest in a job training series supported by the Virginia General Assembly that covers a variety of fields for students. For this energy industry-focused cluster program, we joined with VA Tech DC Metro Area STEM Education and Workforce Development Labs to supply the tools for those interested in academic pursuits and/or jobs in energy and STEM, including training the teachers who mentor students.
We encourage residents to explore these opportunities. Through the power of collaborative partnerships, we will build the region’s workforce and economy to forge a brighter future.
For more information on Washington Gas’ Workforce Development commitment, visit www.washingtongas.com/workforce.