By JoAnn Snoderly | The Exponent Telegram | February 8, 2018
Tree falling has already started to make way for The Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Trade unions are actively recruiting workers for construction of the pipeline. (Staff file photo)
CLARKSBURG — Hiring is underway for pipeline projects in the state.
Tree felling has already started in West Virginia to make way for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will carry natural gas from Harrison County to Robeson County, North Carolina.
Another project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, expects tree felling to start soon in some locations. This pipeline will run from northwestern West Virginia to Southern Virginia.
“A definitive construction start date has not yet been set,” according to Natalie Cox, Mountain Valley Pipeline spokesperson. “Given the issuance of partial notices to proceed by the (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for select areas along the route, it is likely that activity in West Virginia will begin with tree felling.”
Construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is expected to begin in the spring, according to Aaron Ruby, spokesperson for Dominion Energy.
Trade unions are actively recruiting workers, he said.
“From the beginning, we’ve committed to hiring skilled union labor to build this project,” he said.
Unions representing four trades will fill the workforce needs of the project, Ruby said.
Laborers will be provided by the Laborers’ International Union of North America.
These workers will perform “all the hands-on pipeline activity involved,” including tree felling, pipe coating and installation of environmental control devices, Ruby said.
“We’re still in early stages of it,” said Matt McComas of the Laborers International Union of North America. “The contractors haven’t really called for a lot of manpower needs.”
He said the union is seeking experienced workers for upcoming project needs. Anyone interested can contact one of the union offices, which are located in Clarksburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Charleston, he said.
All workers must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation, and be drug-free, McComas said.
The union is also offering an apprenticeship program for those who would like to learn a trade for eventual pipeline work, he said. The Laborers’ apprenticeship program is available through Workforce West Virginia.
The Teamsters National Pipeline union will be responsible for hiring transport workers.
“They’re the ones that are going to be driving the passenger buses that are bringing the workers to worksites every morning, dump trucks, water trucks, fuel trucks, tractor trailers, those type of vehicles,” Ruby said.
The International Union of Operating Engineers will provide equipment operators and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States will provide welders for the project, Ruby said.
“In addition to actual individual laborers who are going to work on the project, there are also opportunities for local subcontractors or suppliers or vendors to work with our general contract, and to get contract work on the project,” Ruby said.
The pipeline project’s general contractor, Spring Ridge Constructors, will choose the subcontractors and suppliers, Ruby said.
The project’s subcontract requirements will include aggregate and concrete providers, diesel mechanics, hydraulic shops and construction supply providers, Ruby said.
Vendors or those seeking Atlantic Coast Pipeline jobs can find more information on the application process on the project’s website at https://atlanticcoastpipeline.com/acpvendor.aspx
Staff Writer JoAnn Snoderly can be reached at 304-626-1445 or by email at email@example.com.