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Nicor Gas Celebrates Careers in Energy Week; National Energy Awareness Month

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Oct. 15, 2019

Careers in the energy sector are continuing to grow and as the largest natural gas distribution company in northern Illinois, Nicor Gas is celebrating Careers in Energy Week (Oct. 14-18). Nicor Gas 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 have in supporting the local economy.

According to the Center for Energy Workforce Development, utilities historically have the lowest attrition rates in comparison to other industries, however, non-retirement attrition is rising based responses to CEWD’s 2017 Gaps in the Energy Workforce Pipeline survey. The survey found about 59,000 employees may need to be replaced over the next 10 years for retirement; specifically Plant and Field Operations have the highest potential retirement forecast with about a quarter of employees who will be retirement-eligible in the next five years. 

Nicor Gas has already experienced an influx of retirements over the last few years and has created a workforce development initiative that includes programs and processes to ensure that knowledge is transferred to new employees. One of those initiatives is the Nicor Gas Career Academy, which recently graduated its second cohort of 18 students from the six-week job readiness program designed to prepare participants for entry-level work in the utility industry, with a focus on natural gas.

“More than ever, there is a need to attract, train and retain a talented energy workforce,” said Pat Whiteside, vice president of Nicor Gas Business Support. “The Nicor Gas Career Academy is one way we are working to ensure the workforce is ready to build the future of energy.”

In support of Careers in Energy Week, Nicor Gas is participating in the following events:

  • Alive Center STEM Exploration Day, Naperville
  • Bloom Township High School District 206 College and Career Fair, Chicago Heights
  • Science Works Career Celebration at The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
  • Northern Illinois University STEMfest, Dekalb

Students, educators and parents are encouraged to visit nicorgas.com/careersinenergy to learn more about the Nicor Gas Career Academy, career fair resources and how teachers can apply for one of three $250 classroom grants from the IEWC. The national Careers in Energy initiative is led by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, a nonprofit organization comprised of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities and their industry associations. For more information, visit cewd.org.

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit 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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737 | c: 630.388.3737 | jgolz@southernco.com

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.8716 |  jgolz@southernco.com