Pipeline builders offer project plans


Staff Writer

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Officials with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline invited local residents to an open house and job fair Wednesday at Northern Nash High School for people to learn more about what to expect during construction while contractors, local unions and inspection companies discussed training and job opportunities.

Tammie McGee, spokeswoman for Duke Progress Energy, said about 100 people came out to the event. Project team members provided information to residents on construction activities, including safety measures in place to protect the community, crew members and the environment.

McGee said there was a short video shown to explain what landowners can expect during the $6 billion pipeline construction. Aaron Ruby, media relations manager at Dominion Energy, said full construction on the interstate natural gas pipeline is set to start later this spring. Officials said the project is slated for completion in 2019.

Contractors, local unions and inspection companies will be hiring people for the 600-mile project. Officials said there will be four trade unions responsible for hiring and training the 13,000 construction workers for the pipeline. The unions have committed to hiring at least half of the construction workers through local memberships in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

The organizations also ill employ at least 25 percent of all new hires, who will be people joining the trade unions for the first time from the local communities where the pipeline will be built. The bulk of mainline construction activity for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will come from the craft and trades that will consist of laborers, teamsters, operators and welders.

The Laborers International Union of North America is one of the four unions involved. Entry-level jobs will start at $19 an hour and include employer-paid family health insurance, union membership of a possible two-year duration, $45 per day per diem and an employer-paid pension fund. 

“This is the biggest job-creating infrastructure project we’ve seen in our region for many decades, said Dennis Matrie, vice president and Mid-Atlantic Region manager for LiUNA. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our region’s infrastructure and bring back the middle class jobs that have disappeared from too many of our communities.”

In additon to the craft and trade workers, suppliers and vendors are needed to support construction. The pipeline will require 50 to 85 inspectors for each planned 16 construction spreads. The majority must be certified through the American Petroleum Institute’s Pipeline Construction Inspector program (API 1169).

Nash Community College also is helping train workers needed for pipeline construction.