PERC awards workforce development grants

July 23, 2019 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved 10 workforce development grants for state associations at its April 12 meeting in Atlanta.

Many of the approved programs target drivers and service technicians. Photo courtesy of the Propane Education & Research Council

Many of the approved programs target drivers and service technicians. Photo courtesy of the Propane Education & Research Council

The projects awarded grant funds demonstrate a variety of methods for attracting new employees to the industry, from attending career fairs and developing web-based tools to establishing propane curriculums. Several rely on interstate partnerships to execute recruitment initiatives.

Here, we organize the projects into four broad areas of focus – community outreach, military/veteran recruitment, recruitment platforms and school curriculum – but many of the projects take a multipronged approach. Descriptions of each project are courtesy of PERC.

PERC offers a comprehensive package of outreach materials – including images, brochures, handouts and videos – to highlight career opportunities in propane for prospective employees. Check out these resources at, and consider how they can be used to attract workers in your state.

Community Outreach

Source: PERC Click to enlarge

Source: PERC Click to enlarge

Georgia PERC: Purchases an 8.5-ft. x 20-ft. trailer equipped with propane props, virtual-reality and audio-visual equipment, and hands-on tools to demonstrate propane products at schools and other community events.

Kentucky PERC: Allows propane industry representatives to participate in a two-day employment exposition put on by Kentucky’s construction industry.

Missouri PERC: The Missouri Propane CONNECT program leverages existing partnerships and creates new ones that promote careers in propane, focusing on drivers and service technicians. The program creates tools, hires staff to deliver training and provides funding for a limited number of individuals who attend vocational classes.

Military/Veteran Recruitment

Michigan PERC: The primary goal of the 2019 Great Lakes Region Workforce Recruitment Project is to attract drivers in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio through outreach to active military or recent veterans at bases and to truck driving schools. The secondary goal is to promote propane partnerships with HVAC, plumbers and electricians.

PGANE: PGANE, the New York Propane Gas Association and Veterans Education and Transition Services (V.E.T.S.) are partnering to offer the propane industry and veterans the education and training needed to increase military recruitment in New England and New York.

Recruitment Platforms

Pennsylvania Propane Foundation: Generation NEXT Energy Pros will create, maintain and support a platform for students, graduates and propane marketers to find employment or employees. It involves research into how better to market to prospective employees, presentations to technical schools, use of ServicEdge to build relationships with professors and career administrators, and partnerships with local seasonal companies for driver positions.

RMPERC: The Open Position Locator is a web-based tool that connects propane employers with qualified job seekers. The Rocky Mountain Propane Association will promote the job locator tool to CDL schools, HVAC schools, unemployment offices and at various career days. To incentivize job seekers to use the locator, RMPERC will offer tuition reimbursement for completing CDL or HVAC school, and the employer will provide a match, if criteria are met.

School Curriculum

Alabama PGA: Alabama and Tennessee are partnering to establish propane education and training, as well as job placement assistance, in community colleges, technical schools and trade schools. Funds will also be used to train full-time instructors in the approved curriculum.

North Carolina PGA: Hires a propane liaison to develop a comprehensive plan to partner with Class B CDL driving schools, career and technical centers, and workforce development boards. The liaison will report each school’s contacts, level of interest, ability to train drivers and technicians, a list of propane companies interested in partnership and resources expended on the school such as tools, appliances and curriculum.

South Carolina PERC: Introduces the Overview of Propane Distribution Systems training manual in HVAC classes offered by the SCTCS colleges and places one retail propane marketer on each HVAC advisory committee already established on each college campus.

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