December 4, 2018 — On Nov. 29, Middlesex Community College (MxCC) and Eversource Energy held a special ceremony to present the first 11 students with a Natural Gas Field Technician Certificate from this inaugural program. MxCC partnered with Eversource Energy last spring to develop and provide a short-term training program that would lead to highly skilled workers in the state’s growing natural gas industry. Led by the Eversource Technical Training group, classes for the certificate program began last summer at their state-of-the-art training facility in Berlin, Conn.
“We’re excited for these students who’ve worked so hard over the last several months to earn their Natural Gas Field Technician Certificate,” said Eversource Vice President of Gas Operations Kevin Kelley, who presented the certificates during the ceremony. “Since completing this program, this new generation of well-trained natural gas field technicians now have a clear understanding of our industry and the skills necessary to pursue a career in the fast-growing natural gas business.”
“This has been a true partnership every step of the way. We shared ideas and pooled our experience and resources to put together a program that would attract smart, ambitious students who were seeking a career change,” said MxCC Dean of Administration Kimberly Hogan during her speech. “We recruited and screened students so that we could offer this program to the most-qualified applicants.”
All of the MxCC graduates were offered positions at Eversource Energy. They come from 11 different Connecticut towns, from Beacon Falls to Norwich, and range in age from 21 to 44. Some students have attended other CSCU institutions, and some have worked in various positions such general laborers, roofers, auto technicians, or plumbers.
Kelly Metichecchia of Danbury previously worked as a stay-at-home mom. “My favorite part of the training program was the hands-on learning,” she said. “I grew up in a family of construction workers, so for me, this was a logical step in my career.” Metichecchia hopes to be based out of the Meriden office, though 90 percent of the job will be conducted outside.
“I also appreciated the direct approach to learning,” added Jeff Pratt of East Hampton, who spent the last four years manufacturing cages. Gaspar Esteves of Oxford again echoed the hands-on aspect of the work and looks forward to installing pipes.
The natural gas industry is experiencing tremendous growth in meeting and serving the energy demands of homeowners, businesses, and municipalities across Connecticut. Expanding access to natural gas and accelerated replacement programs have driven a higher demand for skilled resources to construct, maintain, and service the natural gas infrastructure.
Students developed fundamental skills required to safely and efficiently install and maintain gas distribution facilities, including the proper use of tools and equipment. They built a strong working knowledge of approved industry practices.
Since 1966, Middlesex Community College has provided high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, enhancing the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. A part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, MxCC offers more than 70 degree or certificate programs at the 38-acre campus in Middletown, MxCC@Platt in Meriden, and online.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, provides natural gas to 232,000 customers in 73 communities, and supplies water to approximately 197,000 customers in 51 communities across Connecticut. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of about 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit the Eversource website (www.eversource.com) and on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT). For more information on Eversource water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.