TCC’s natural gas training program is being recognized by the state

Tidewater Community College’s partnership with Virginia Natural Gas and Virginia Gas Operators Association to train veterans and transitioning military will be recognized for outstanding achievement in October.

The award from the state’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Division of Glass and Oil acknowledges a joint venture or partnership that made a positive impact on the natural gas industry in the state, according to a news release from the college.

TCC will receive the award at a dinner in Abingdon.

The college developed the workforce development initiative last year that connects transitioning military and their family members “to meaningful employment in the natural gas industry.”

The SkillBridge-approved weeklong training program on the Virginia Beach Campus is in collaboration with Virginia Natural Gas, the City of Virginia Beach and Virginia Gas Operators Association member companies.

The expansion of pipeline infrastructure replacement programs across the state requires gas companies and their contractors to hire skilled labor to advance pipeline modernization efforts. Two cohorts of 11 students each have graduated with a third group beginning on the Virginia Beach Campus on Sept. 24. GI Bill funding is offered through TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education.

“Everyone who has completed the course has had a face-to-face job interview from one of the employers supporting the program,” said Chris Blow, project coordinator, military contract programs for the CMVE. “Our regional partners have contributed to the overall success of this program.”

Taught by experienced utility professionals, the curriculum focuses primarily on natural gas pipeline safety, code compliance and operations. It is designed to provide veterans with basic working knowledge that will be useful in helping to prepare them for employment in the natural gas industry.

For information on the program and eligibility, contact Blow at or call 757-822-7725.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.