For Release: 05/12/2018

CPS high school students complete Peoples Gas Utility Training Program

Students prepared for jobs in the natural gas industry

CHICAGO – The first graduating class of the Peoples Gas utility training program was honored at a ceremony today at the Peoples Energy Training Center in Little Village. Armed with their certificates of completion, the graduates now have the technical knowledge and specialized training to begin work in the utility industry.

“We are proud to offer a pathway through training and mentoring to well-paying job opportunities by helping students acquire the necessary skill sets to excel in our highly competitive industry,” said Lori Flores Rolfson, vice president – operations and maintenance. “We extend our congratulations to the Class of 2018 and look forward to honoring many more graduates in the future.”

Launched in October 2016, the Peoples Gas Utility Training Program offers Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students from Dunbar Vocational Academy, Little Village Lawndale and Fenger Academy the training and mentoring needed to compete for jobs in the energy industry. The students develop the necessary core competencies and skill sets required for entry-level utility positions.

“The Peoples Gas training program provided our students with more than a utility certification; it gave them a chance to learn the valuable skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century economy,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to postsecondary success, and this type of partnership helps more students gain skills and find the right path to their future.”

The Peoples Gas Utility Training Program includes:

  • Roughly five field trips to the training center and other experiential opportunities.
  • A six-week summer internship for 15 to 20 juniors and/or seniors to experience the natural gas industry.
  • After-school training courses for seniors to prepare for natural gas industry job opportunities.

Alderman Ricardo Muñoz (22nd) and Chicago Public Schools leaders participated in celebrating the graduation of the first cohort of students to complete the Peoples Gas Utility Training Program.

“This is a great day when the partnership between the Peoples Gas Utility Training Program and the Board of Education has demonstrated its core value,” said Alderman Muñoz. The graduates are now not just prepared for a job in the energy industry, but a career. I applaud this public-private partnership and look forward to many more graduations.”

To complete the program, students received one-on-one technical instruction and performed hands-on assignments, visited Peoples Gas service shops, where they spent time riding along with service crews, and completed assessments.

While completion of the program does not guarantee a job, students are encouraged to apply for project worker positions at Peoples Gas.

"We are committed to providing students with access to a high quality education that prepares them for postsecondary success, and the Peoples Gas training program provides an outstanding opportunity for students to gain real-world experience and certifications that propel their careers," said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "By supplementing rigorous curriculum with industry leader partnerships, we are working together to provide our students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy."

For More Information, Contact:

  • Vanessa Hall


WEC Energy Group