ATLANTA – April 11, 2023 – Atlanta Technical College and Gwinnett Technical College are helping to build the workforce of tomorrow through a partnership with the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atlanta Gas Light, by offering the Natural Gas Technician Certificate to students interested in a career in the growing natural gas industry.
Education and economic development grants provided by the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation in 2021 and 2022 enabled the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to upgrade its facilities and equipment. This ultimately helped Atlanta Technical College and Gwinnett Technical College – which are a part of TCSG – develop the Natural Gas Technician Certificate program. The $400,000 in gifts from the charitable foundation also provided last-mile funding to students at risk of dropping of school out due to financial struggles.
“The American Gas Association estimates that across the United States, one new residential customer signs up for natural gas service every minute, and approximately 80 businesses begin new natural gas service every day,” said Atlanta Gas Light President and CEO Pedro Cherry, who is also a member of the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation Board of Directors. “The Atlanta Gas Light Foundation’s gift to TCSG helps provide students with the skills necessary for the natural gas industry to meet this growing demand and continue supplying the nation with clean, safe, reliable and affordable fuel for decades to come.”
The curriculum will prepare students for a career as a natural gas technician, working as a member of a crew installing, maintaining, and repairing gas pipelines and equipment. Students will also learn to repair and test natural gas meters; maintain natural gas systems; perform semi-skilled work related to carpentry, construction, and landscape maintenance; and operate trucks, tractors, and other light equipment.
The program will consist of 14 credit hours over one semester and is broken into four courses – Construction Trades Core, Gas Heat, Interpersonal Relations and Professional Development, and Special Piping. Certificate classes will begin May 22. Registration for the courses can be found here for Atlanta Technical College and here for Gwinnett Technical College.
Ride-alongs with Atlanta Gas Light crews will also be included as part of the curriculum to give students a first-hand view of what it is like to be a natural gas technician.
“For more than 55 years, Atlanta Technical College has bridged the skills gap for individuals to connect to high-demand careers,” said Dr. Victoria Seals, President of Atlanta Technical College. “We are delighted to add Atlanta Gas Light as a critical workforce partner, to aid in our mission of economic mobility for individuals and families in the Metro Atlanta Region. We are also appreciative to the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation for the resources to support the program.”
Dr. Glen Cannon, president of Gwinnett Technical College said, “Gwinnett Tech is pleased to partner with the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation on this program. The Natural Gas Technician Certificate is a perfect example of how GTC and our technical colleges can work with industry on a specific skill set to meet a particular workforce development need. Furthermore, the program is short enough to allow maximum benefit to the student and give the natural gas industry a qualified, sustainable workforce pipeline quickly to meet its needs.”
This programing is expected to allow approximately 40 students to earn a Natural Gas Technician Certificate each year, enabling them to pursue a career in the utility, oil and gas, and construction industries.
About Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta Technical College is a vibrant part of the Technical College System of Georgia and was named its College of the Year in 2012. Prior to that, the college was selected as America’s Best Community College by Washington Monthly magazine and has been ranked one of the best in the nation for online courses and programs. Most recently, the college was awarded the prestigious Bellwether Award for Workforce Development, and, in 2022, Atlanta Technical College celebrated 55 years of serving the City of Atlanta along with Fulton and Clayton Counties. The College remains dedicated to increasing economic mobility and ending generational poverty through the power of technical education. For more information on Atlanta Technical College, its $201M economic impact, and its 200-plus award-winning programs, visit www.atlantatech.edu.
About Gwinnett Tech: Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia’s largest technical colleges, is committed to producing workforce-ready graduates to meet the needs of its community’s high-demand business and industry sectors. The college offers more than 140 associate degrees, diplomas, certificate programs, and hundreds of seminars, workshops, and specialized training courses. Gwinnett Tech is Gwinnett County’s largest corporate training provider and serves residents and businesses in north Fulton County. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about Gwinnett Technical College’s accreditation. In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visit GwinnettTech.edu. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.
About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light Company is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Atlanta Gas Light provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 1.7 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit atlantagaslight.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.4 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with more than 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
Dorna Werdelin, Atlanta Technical College – tel: 404-576-3422 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck McKinnon, Gwinnett Technical College – tel: 678-226-6806 email: email@example.com
Jeff Wilson, Atlanta Gas Light – tel: 404-245-4944 email: firstname.lastname@example.org