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Supporting Tomorrow's Workforce

As the economy continues to grow in the Lake Erie region, so does the demand for construction and engineering workforce development programs. In most cities and towns, you don’t have to look far to find some sort of development site. With this recent uptick in activity, an experienced, skilled workforce is a highly sought after commodity.

NEXUS Gas Transmission (NEXUS) is stepping up to help meet this demand with broad support for educational initiatives at Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Construction Management Program, Monroe County Community College’s (MCCC) welding program, Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers (VSCTC), Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD), and Stark State College.

At EMU, NEXUS has given $50,000 to students for safety equipment, training, travel and other workforce preparation expenses. The University is a nationwide leader in career and workforce preparation, specifically in the field of construction. EMU students can major in construction management, filling a growing gap in our economy by acquiring marketable skills and hands-on experience. This program teaches the roles of project manager, estimator and even general contractor. Disciplines are available in building inspection, code enforcement and procurement—all of which are key positions on job sites and valuable skills in both the public and private sectors.

At MCCC, NEXUS provided a $50,000 grant to acquire training equipment for the school’s welding program. The proposed added equipment will provide a safer environment for students in the process of learning proper work practices. A major focus on welding education is to establish safe habits for students to apply throughout their working careers and identify potential safety hazards ahead of time to limit risk and prevent hazardous conditions. A well-trained student becomes a more valuable employee by creating safer working conditions for all employees.

Throughout Ohio, VSCTC is preparing high school students for practical vocations that power the oil and gas industry. VSCTC is an award-winning career-technical school district located near the NEXUS pipeline route. With NEXUS’ $50,000 donation, the school will be able to buy new equipment and support industry-related programs.

“This partnership is another example of how we work with business and industry to ensure that we are not only continuing to meet the current needs, but that we are anticipating the future workforce demands of the economy as well,” said VSCTC Superintendent Greg Edinger. “These dollars will help us prepare students for success, and we are thankful that NEXUS sees the value in Career Technical Education and is so generous to the communities they serve.”

NEXUS provided LISD Tech Center with a $50,000 grant that enabled the Welding Technology program to purchase virtual welding equipment. This equipment utilizes cutting-edge technologies to enhance lesson plans while reducing material costs. Simulations allow students to refine their skills before trying their hand at real-world equipment. By the end of the program, students have the ability to operate the most basic to high-tech equipment in the industry. Welding careers are in demand in southern Michigan and nationally. Upon graduation, LISD welding students have little trouble finding work and are often recruited.

NEXUS has also donated $50,000 to Stark State College, a leading school for careers in the oil and gas industry located near the pipeline route. The donation will go toward supporting scholarships and industry-specific programs that guide students towards sustainable careers. Like its other large gifts to educational institutions, this donation represents NEXUS’ commitment to helping meet growing workforce development needs in the oil and gas industry. Stark State College is located in Stark County, Ohio and offers more than 230 majors and certificates for career enhancement.

“These skills and certifications are critical components of the labor force needs related to gas, water and other infrastructure projects throughout the region,” said Stark State College President Para M. Jones.

The NEXUS pipeline project is estimated to support 6,800 gas transmission jobs and more than $650 million in wages in Northern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan. NEXUS remains committed to supporting educational initiatives in the region and proudly encourages students pursuing technical careers. As pipeline infrastructure prepares communities in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, for a clean energy future, NEXUS is preparing the next generation for rewarding, lifelong careers.

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