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Nicor Gas Celebrates Careers in Energy Week

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Oct. 6, 2016 – As jobs in the energy sector continue to grow, Nicor Gas, the largest natural gas distribution company in northern Illinois, is partnering with the Illinois Energy Workforce Consortium (IEWC) and other Illinois-based energy groups to increase public awareness of careers in the energy industry and emphasize the important role energy companies play in supporting the local economy. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security predicts that there will be more than 50,000 energy-related jobs by 2022. As part of awareness efforts, Nicor Gas is supporting Careers in Energy Week (Oct.17 – 21), which was recognized by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner with an official proclamation. The national initiative is led by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, a non-profit organization comprised of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities and their industry associations. 

During the week, Nicor Gas is sponsoring an energy career awareness campaign that includes informational email blasts to Illinois schools, ads on job-related Internet sites and a special careers-oriented web page, www.nicorgas.com/DiscoverCareersInEnergy that targets parents, educators, and students in grades five through 12. The web page features several Nicor Gas employees who describe their jobs, all of which are essential to helping the company provide safe and reliable natural gas service to its more than 2.1 million customers in 656 communities. 

“Careers in Energy Week allows us to promote and celebrate the great careers within our industry,” said Pat Whiteside, vice president of Nicor Gas Business Support. “We need to make a purposeful effort to ensure that students are not only aware of energy sector jobs, but that they know what skills they need to join our team.” Whiteside serves as executive sponsor of the IEWC. 

In support of Careers in Energy Week, Nicor Gas will partipate in the following events: 

Saturday, Oct. 8, Northern Illinois University STEMfest, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Northern Illinois University STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums, educators and national labs are joining forces to present hundreds of activities to educate people of all ages. Nicor Gas will provide information about opportunities and careers in the energy industry. The event will be held at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center in DeKalb. For more information visit http://www.stemfest.niu.edu/stemfest/. 

Thursday, Oct. 13, Prairie State College Career Preparation Network, Education for Employment Region 060, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Nicor Gas will engage students around opportunities and careers in the energy industry. The event will be held at Prairie State College located at 202 S. Halsted St., in Chicago Heights, Ill. Saturday, Oct. 15, Museum of Science & Industry’s Science Works: Cool Jobs, Hot Careers, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Museum of Science & Industry’s Science Works: Cool Jobs, Hot Careers will feature educational activities and interesting jobs from professionals at a museum-wide STEM career fair. Nicor Gas will provide information about opportunities and careers in the energy industry. The event will be held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. For more information visit www.msichicago.org/programs/science-works/. 

Monday, Oct. 17, Orland Township Career Awareness Fair, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Nicor Gas will interact with students and job seekers about career opportunities in energy and energy-related industries. The event will be held at the Orland Township office, 14807 South Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park, Ill. 

Wednesday, Nov. 2, Joliet Junior College Major & Career Exploration Fair, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Exploring Careers in Energy is aimed at engaging high school students in conversations about career paths and opportunities in energy fields, such as engineering, construction and operations. The interactive event supports ongoing school district career readiness and exposure efforts. The event will be held at Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd., (U-Auditorium) in Joliet, Ill. 

During October and November, representatives from Nicor Gas also will visit middle and high schools to make presentations about the company, careers in the industry and the attributes and skills Nicor Gas looks for in workforce candidates. 

In addition to Nicor Gas, the IEWC includes Ameren Illinois Corp., Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, ComEd and Exelon Generation, Energy Learning Exchange – Illinois State University, Mt. Carmel Public Utility Company, North Shore Gas, Peoples Gas, Prairie State Generating Company and others. 

For more information visit www.nicorgas.com/community/discover-careers-in-energy. 

For more information about IEWC visit http://consortia.getintoenergy.com/illinois/careersinenergyweek/. 

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.1 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.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 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com. 

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Media Contact: Jae Miller | o: 630.388.2208 | c: 224.239.9354 | janmille@southernco.com