Skip to main content.
Children completing projects
Children completing projects

Workforce Development

Resources for Educators

Students with a talent and interest in math and science might enjoy a career in the energy industry. Discover new and informative ways to address math and science standards, and learn more about how to best guide students who show an interest in the energy industry.

engineer examining machine production line

Career Academy

The Nicor Gas Career Academy is a program sponsored by Nicor Gas, KS Energy, Intren, NPL, and QCUL. The 6-week, free job readiness program prepares participants for careers in the utility industry.

When Does it Start?
September 14th, 2020 through October 23rd, 2020


  • High school diploma or GED
  • Score at least a 12th-grade level in math & reading on the Tests of Adult Basic Education
  • Pass an extensive criminal background check and drug test
  • In-person group-style interview
  • Valid driver's license

The First Tee National School Program

The First Tee National School Program introduces students to the game of golf and their nine core values. Nicor Gas partners with The First Tee of Greater Chicago to provide this program to local students in public elementary schools as part of physical education instruction.


Nicor Gas Fire School

Ensuring the safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority. For more than 50 years, Nicor Gas has provided natural gas fire training to firefighters throughout our service territory. The fire school is not only offered to first responders but to our own employees, from field operations to human resources. 

CONSTRUCT | Building Excellence Through Diversity

With an aging workforce and increased job creation through accelerated infrastructure programs, the energy industry is facing a workforce crisis. There is an immediate need for diverse, qualified candidates with the knowledge, skills and ability to adapt and grow within the industry.

To address this issue, utilities in northern Illinois, along with their engineering and construction contractors, labor union partners and local nonprofits, developed a program called CONSTRUCT.

Launched in 2013, CONSTRUCT is a 9-week program that offers individuals who are 18 years of age or older the training, information and guidance needed to compete for good-paying, entry-level jobs in construction-related fields.

To date, about 400 students have participated in the program, and nearly 70 percent have been offered employment.

“As our industry continues to evolve, partnerships like CONSTRUCT will make a real difference in developing a pipeline of talent and cultivating the next generation of our energy workforce,” said Melvin D. Williams, president of Nicor Gas. “We look forward to our continued participation in CONSTRUCT, and working with our partners to help fuel the workforce of the future.”

Contact one of these social service agencies for more information:

  • Aspira Inc. of Illinois – 773.342.1539
  • Austin Peoples Action Center (APAC) – 773.921.2121
  • Chicago Urban League – 773.285.5800
  • National Latino Education Institute – 773.247.0707, ext. 257
  • Quad County Urban League – 630.851.2203
  • South Suburban YWCA - 708.754.0486
  • Central States Ser – Jobs for Progress – 708.222.3100
  • St. Sabina Catholic Charities Social Services Center – 773.846.3018

Energizing Student Potential Program (ESP)

Energizing Student Potential (ESP) is a Midwest energy company-based partnership program to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The program is facilitated by the National Energy Education Development Program. 

ESP provides standardized curriculum and engaging new content to highlight the energy sector. Participating schools can receive: 

  • A $500 grant to support your STEM Challenge project 
  • $3,000 worth of hands-on kits and curriculum 
  • Access to educational energy audits, field trips and classroom visits 
  • Two-day professional development for a team of 2 teachers per school, plus much more!
child drawing on whiteboard

engineer examining machine production line

Energy Workforce Consortium

The IEWC is a collaboration of industry employers, cooperatives, educators and government partners from across the state who have partnered to develop a pipeline of qualified candidates for energy industry jobs in Illinois. The goal of the IEWC is to serve as a resource for educators and students alike – sharing information, data, and real-world examples of the types of careers that are available in Illinois’ energy industry. 

The IEWC also sponsors Careers In Energy Week. When you show us your class used our energy materials, you can win one of three $250 classroom grants. All you need to do is email a photo and brief description (3-4 sentences) of how you used these materials with students to with the subject line “Class Grant Entry.” The deadline to submit entries was February 2017.