Construction workers with Southeast Gas must have or obtain a Commercial Driver’s License within one year of starting their positions with the company. With three to four new construction workers hired annually, getting them trained and qualified to drive company vehicles under the new CDL standards was proving problematic.
That’s when Southeast Gas Safety Coordinator Mark Fowler and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBWCC) Workforce Development Director Chad Sutton began developing a strategy to solve the issue. LBWCC offers a Skills for Success commercial driver’s license training course, and that course allows individuals and businesses like Southeast Gas to participate in rapid credentialing.
This week, four Southeast Gas employees, having already passed their theories course and obtained their commercial learner’s permit, began LBWCC’s Skills for Success Range and Road courses and will be prepared to take the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) road test later this month.
Fowler said this program allows Southeast Gas to accelerate the licensure process by several months. “This one-week program benefits us most by allowing our employees to have limited field interruptions while obtaining their required credentials. The beauty of using LBWCC now is that our employees can participate in both their theories course and their road course through the college,” he said. “We commend LBWCC for offering this course to our region – together we are building a better workforce for Southeast Alabama.”
Southeast Gas serves 32,000 natural gas customers in 36 communities and 19 counties in Southeast Alabama. The company’s 190 employees hold fast to their commitment to serve others and provide energy and opportunity to all through growth and servant leadership.