FLINT, Mich-Consumers Energy recently broke ground on its new state-of-the-art natural gas training facility. The center, named Flint Gas City, will serve as a training resource for more than 1,500 Consumers Energy employees who build, maintain and operate natural gas infrastructure.
“Flint Gas City is a breakthrough initiative that directly impacts our goal to provide world-class performance and deliver hometown service,” said Tonya Berry, vice president of Gas Operations at Consumers Energy.
“This facility, along with our training team, will provide the best possible preparation for our current and future workforce.” Berry added.
Developed in partnership with the Michigan State Utility Workers Council, the $10.1 million facility will be located at the Flint Service Center, 3201 E. Court Street.
“The development of this learning center in conjunction with the Michigan State Utility Workers Council is a testament to our strong partnership and commitment to ensuring our employees have the necessary training and resources to deliver safe, reliable natural gas to the communities where we live and serve,” said Amanda Wagenschutz, vice president of People and Culture Operations at Consumers Energy.
The training center will feature learning environments designed specifically for the natural gas industry, including a command center where instructors will create and control various training scenarios, such as gas leak simulations, service hook-ups, utility locating, leak detection and corrosion monitoring.
Construction is expected to be complete in winter 2022.
“This new state-of-the-art training center will build on our safety culture and commitment by providing an immersive experience with the equipment, scenarios and environments our natural gas workers deal with every day,” said Craig Wright, president of the Michigan State Utility Workers Council.
Once complete, the 1.4-acre complex will also include:
- A mock neighborhood of mini-homes and businesses with functioning pipelines, meters and other natural gas facilities
- An outdoor space for practicing heavy equipment use in a safe, controlled environment
- A controlled outdoor area to practice fighting natural gas fires
In addition, the company will partner with local first responders to coordinate natural gas safety training opportunities for emergency responders.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electric service to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.