KITTANNING – Armstrong County officials last week promoted an upcoming free program to train people for natural gas utility and pipeline jobs.

Mike Coonley, the county’s executive director of economic development, said that the county was made aware of funding that could be used to host these trainings, the first round of which will be held starting Nov. 30 at the IUP campus at Northpointe near Freeport. The second four-week course will begin Jan. 8.

Coonley told Armstrong County Commissioners Pat Fabian, Jason Renshaw and George Skamai at their Nov. 16 meeting that the trainings will be conducted by the Gas Technology Institute, which is based in Chicago.

The four-week program will provide a basic understanding of natural gas, the utility and pipeline industry, and different equipment, procedures and operations.

Coonley said class sizes are limited to 20 people. Those interested should call Patrick Findle at (412) 577-8350.

“There are a lot of job opportunities here,” Coonley said, noting that starting salaries in the $40,000 to $50,000 are not uncommon.

Participants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid drivers license, and be able to pass a drug test and background checks.

In other business at last week’s meeting, the commissioners approved a proposal between the county and Senate Engineering to create bid specifications for work on four county-owned bridged.

The cost of the work from Senate will be $4,900.

Officials said the work will include mind repair on the Climax Bridge in Mahoning Township, as well as work on three additional bridges in Cowanshannock, Plumcreek and North Buffalo townships.

Other Business

• The commissioners approved the allocation of $13,450 of the county’s Marcellus Legacy funds to the Sheriff’s Department for the purchase of a 2013 Ford Explorer.

• Nov. 16 was proclaimed as World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

• Jerry Longwell of Kittanning and DeJay Claypoole of Worthington were reappointed to four-year terms on the Armstrong Conservation District board, while commissioner Jason Renshaw was reappointed to a one-year term on the board.

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