Williams employees: Thank you

Not every company is lucky enough to have employees who take pride in the work they do or care about giving back to the communities where they work and live.

That’s not the case with Williams. We don’t take for granted how fortunate we are to have an energy family that strives every day to help provide energy to millions while helping communities and charitable organizations.

To our Williams family, thank you. Thank you for your tireless efforts each day to make the company a huge success. Thank you for the work you’ve done thus far on the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline expansion.

You work hard, but you care about our communities even harder.

Thank you for caring about others. Thank you for helping to raise money for United Way, for donating your time at the holidays to coordinate toy drives, food drives and more and for all you do on #GivingTuesday and Day of Caring.

Today may be Employee Appreciation Day, but we appreciate you year-round for all that you do for Williams and the communities we serve. Our energy family wouldn’t be as strong as it is without each of you.

Now hiring: STEM jobs in natgas, energy

The jobs of tomorrow are available today. But there is a shortage of skilled workers to fill them.

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and hiring have gained traction since 2000, according to U.S. News & World Report, with STEM jobs increasing by 28 percent over 16 years. However, the U.S. continues to struggle with filling the jobs of the future, despite the fact that these positions often don’t require costly four-year or advanced degrees.

The jobs available are stable and high paying. On average, non-STEM majors make $49,500 per year, Business Insider reports, while STEM majors earn $65,000. These aren’t just workers in the computer and information sciences fields — STEM opportunities are available across a number of sectors, including energy jobs created by projects like Atlantic Sunrise.

These jobs have been an opportunity for those looking for stable work that pays well. Many of the available energy jobs don’t require a four-year degree that is often financed by tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. The following are just a few of the schools in Pennsylvania that offer certificate programs or two-year degrees to prepare students for high-earning careers in the energy industry:

Natural gas jobs aren’t just isolated in the energy sector. Many manufacturers, most notably the plastics industry, use natural gas byproducts as a feedstock for their products. Pennsylvania is home to two accredited plastics engineering schools:

Educational and employment opportunities are available and plentiful. Projects like the Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will continue to create job opportunities for STEM workers, keeping these skilled employees right here in Pennsylvania.

The energy jobs of tomorrow depend on educating STEM students today.

Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant program accepting applications

Williams is committed to being a good community neighbor and environmental steward. That’s why we established a grant program to benefit local communities where the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project is being constructed.

Established in 2015, the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program has shared more than $2 million across the 10-county Atlantic Sunrise project area in support of noteworthy projects.

Eligible organizations can apply for grants up to $10,000 per applicant to fund projects that provide benefit to local communities or the environment. Projects funded by the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant program include:

  1. Emergency/first responder support
  2. Youth or senior services
  3. Education programs
  4. Economic development
  5. Enhancement of open spaces and park land for recreational enjoyment
  6. Assistance in the enrichment of wildlife habitat
  7. Promotion of environmental education
  8. Purchases of property for preservation of wetlands and wildlife habitat
  9. Purchases of property to access public lands, water resources, scenic and wildlife views, and for enhancement or development of active recreational areas

Last fall, Williams distributed more than $292,000 to 35 organizations that reside in, and/or provide services to communities where the Atlantic Sunrise project is being constructed, including a $10,000 grant to help Pennsylvania College of Technology launch a makerspace on its main campus and more than $50,000 in grants to five organizations in Lancaster County.

Interested applicants can file a simple application online. Applications must be submitted by March 1.

Lancaster County veterans group restoring Vietnam-era helicopter; get $10,000 boost from Williams

A group in Lancaster County hopes to bring a piece of history back to life, and they’re one step closer thanks to a $10,000 Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant.

Vietnam War veterans will be able to take a trip back in time in once The Liberty War Birds, a Lititz-based group of veterans who specialize in restoring Vietnam-era helicopters, are finished with their renovation of a 1966 HUEY 823 helicopter.

For everyone on board with the War Birds, there’s a new mission to execute: restore a “Huey,” the iconic UH-1 helicopter that defined America’s presence in Vietnam, and return it to the skies. The group hopes that one day the restored helicopter will be a touchstone for local Vietnam War veterans.

“How great would it be to take this to the Coatesville VA center and deliver Thanksgiving dinner to the veterans there?” Michael Caimi, vice president of the Liberty War Birds, said.

Caimi and a team volunteers gather each weekend in a hangar at the Lancaster Airport where they’ve been working on the aircraft since April 2015. Lead crew chief Kevin Schnetzka showed off the ongoing project during a tour last year, and said nearly everything on board is original to when it was built and used in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970. Even the nose art has been restored to its original design by a fortuitous resource — Vietnam veteran Russ Mowry, who was the Huey 283’s pilot at one time and painted original nose art on the unit’s fleet of helicopters.

Jim Haga, president and founding member the Liberty War Birds, said the group was overjoyed last summer when Mowry came to see his old chopper. While in Carlisle, Pa., during Army Heritage Days at the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center Mowry repainted the nose with a fire-breathing dragon and a curvy, bikini-clad woman to signify the chopper’s call signs, “The Flying Dragons” and “The Bikinis.”

The Huey is already drawing veterans together, Haga said. They gather inside the hangar to share stories. Some sit silently, quietly observant of the project unfolding before them.

There’s no telling when it will get back in the air — the group projects the complete restoration will cost about $475,000. They’ve successfully raised more than $200,000 so far, and the group received another big financial boost during the sixth round of the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant program.

Williams awarded $42,300 in grant money to a number of Lancaster County groups during the fall grant cycle. The Liberty War Birds received a $10,000 grant, designed to go towards buying a new engine for the helicopter — a significant step toward taking flight again.

“To see us be able to help them accomplish their mission, it’s very important,” Joe Horvath, spokesperson for Williams, said.

The Huey 823 is a trip in a time machine for the many veterans who see the helicopter up close. For them, it’s the unmistakable sound of an era. It’s not easy, Haga said, but for many veterans, hearing the iconic helicopter fly and seeing it up close is a way to help them cope with their post-traumatic stress disorders.

“Probably the last time they saw this helicopter was a bad memory for them, likely being Medivac’d out of the country. They walk in this hangar door and it’s instant tears,” Schnetzka said. “They step inside this helicopter and they turn to all smiles. We’ll come up to them and by the time they leave here and they’re telling stories their families probably never heard.”

The group has even enlisted the help of PTSD therapist and Vietnam veteran Alexis Lake, who talks to some of the veterans who visit the hangar.

“The Huey gets them talking. It’s a starting point, and a touchstone for a generation who came home and didn’t have anyone to talk to about what happened,” Lake said. “When Vietnam vets came home, we were told, don’t tell your stories. The stories may be buried, but the emotions are always filtering up. We want this to be a project that begins the healing.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the next round of Atlantic Sunrise Community Grants. Applications for this round of grants must be submitted by March 1.

Spring in winter’: Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise pipeline a win for Lancaster County businesses

Lancaster County’s economy is reaping the benefits from the construction of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. The area is projected to receive a $75.5 million economic boost, a great delight to businesses, but especially to those that slow down during the winter.

Claudette Korzniecki, co-owner of Flory’s Cottages & Camping in Ronks, Pa. recently told LNP that Atlantic Sunrise has “helped us pay our bills. Wintertime is always tough.”

She added that pipeline workers are “spending a fortune in this area. People don’t realize how much they spend. They go to musical shows, doctors, dentists, buy groceries and fuel.”

The 10 Pennsylvania counties that will be home to the 197-mile Atlantic Sunrise pipeline will all see economic benefits from pipeline construction. For many, such as Cleveland Brothers in Ephrata, Pa., the project means “high-paying jobs that are needed,” as company director of marketing Todd Regar told the newspaper.

For others, it means jobs and upgrades to equipment. Darrel Lehman Dump Truck Services CEO Gail Lehman told LNP that the Elizabethtown company’s Atlantic Sunrise work afforded it the opportunity to buy a new truck, as well as having her drivers work on Saturdays “for the first time in months.”

“It’s been a blessing. It’s created a lot more business for us,” Lehman said.

While Atlantic Sunrise will bring more abundant, affordable natural gas to U.S. homes and businesses, it’s also benefiting local businesses in the project area. Maybe the benefits of this project were put best by Rob Wraihay, co-owner of Manheim, Pa.-based Warihay Enterprises:

“It’s like spring in winter!”Read the entire article to see how Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise pipeline is working for Lancaster County.

PA Proud: Natural gas brings you Super Bowl Sunday

Everyone knows there’s a lot of energy on Super Bowl Sunday, but what you may not realize is much of that energy is made possible thanks to natural gas.

Williams handles about 30 percent of the nation’s natural gas, transporting it through pipelines like the Atlantic Sunrise system currently under construction in Pennsylvania. That’s why it’s natural for us to take a moment to reflect on how natural gas impacts this annual event.

As you sit down on Sunday night and turn on your television, which is likely powered by natural gas, enjoy your drink of choice in a cup made with natural gas and snack on your own favorite football treats on a plate made from natural gas, consider how important the benefits of this abundant domestic resource are in our everyday lives.

Natural gas powers football. Look for these during the Super Bowl to see how natural gas does more than just provide clean-burning energy:

  1. Footballs
  2. Cleats
  3. Helmets
  4. Jerseys
  5. Artificial turf
  6. Lights
  7. Clipboards
  8. Loudspeakers
  9. Water bottles
  10. Hats
  11. Fan gear
  12. Signage
  13. Cameras
  14. Cups
  15. Facepaint

Enjoy the game!

Natural Gas Fireplaces: 5 Safety Tips

Is there a better feeling than curling up near a warm fire on a cold day? Fireplaces are a must for many current and potential homeowners. Realtor.com reported that they were the No. 1 feature on 2015 homebuyer listings, with gas as the leading type of fireplace mentioned.

If you own a natural gas fireplace, you know why they are so desired. They use abundant, low-cost natural gas, like Atlantic Sunrise will provide. They’re convenient and efficient, and they do not require you to cut wood or clean up ashes. All you have to do is click a button or flip a switch and, voila, a warm fire is ready to go.

However, as is the case with other fireplace types, you need to operate natural gas fireplaces safely. Here are five tips to ensure you are safe with your gas fireplace:

Hire a licensed contractor to install it

Are you switching from wood to natural gas? It’s not a DIY job. Hire a licensed contractor to perform the conversion. A natural gas line or propane tank will need to be installed, and these should be handled only by experienced professionals.

Keep your gas fireplace clear

A natural gas fireplace produces a lot of heat. It’s important to keep the area around the fireplace free of objects and people. You should keep all objects at least two to three feet away. Install a safety screen to ensure pets and small children cannot go near the fireplace.

Install carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are a must if you use any gas appliances in your home. You should put a detector on every floor in your home. Change the batteries at least twice a year.

Use a safety pilot in your gas fireplace

A safety pilot is an oxygen-depletion sensor. It will automatically shut off the fireplace if it detects too much carbon monoxide buildup. This, like anything else with your fireplace, should be installed and maintained by a licensed professional.

Maintain your gas fireplace with annual inspections, cleanings

A safe fireplace is a clean fireplace. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace on an annual basis. The inspection will involve cleaning and adjusting the log set, glass, and fan and air circulation passages, removing obstructions from vents, and replacing carbon monoxide detector batteries.

By keeping your fireplace safe, you’ll enjoy affordable warmth for years to come!

Don’t have a gas fireplace but know someone who does? Spread the word and share this article.

Williams’ gives back at Pa. Public Officials Day luncheon

The Pennsylvania Farm Show isn’t just a great way to connect with our state’s agriculture industry, it provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate those who help others.

At Williams, we did just that on Jan. 10 during the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Public Officials Day luncheon. We were honored to attend this event with Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH), a nonprofit organization that coordinates hunters’ deer harvests with meat processors to distribute venison to food banks.

It’s a worthwhile cause that we’re proud to support. HSH, now in its 27th season, donated more than 120,000 pounds of venison last year to more than 5,000 local food banks, missions, homeless shelters and other providers. HSH Executive Director John Plowman said during the event the organization is on track to have another bountiful year.

Public Officials Day at the Farm Show serves as a reunion for HSH supporters and friends, allowing all of us to discuss and exchange ideas, and learn about the program’s successes. This year’s luncheon had a record turnout, with members of the natural gas industry, the HSH board of directors and statewide business and government leaders coming together.

We love giving back, and we enjoy working with our friends in the agricultural sector, an important component of our state’s economy. How important? During the luncheon, a new economic impact study of agriculture was release that found the industry has a $135.7 annual impact in Pennsylvania.

This year’s Public Officials Day luncheon was a tremendous success, and we’re proud to support Pennsylvania agriculture and great charitable causes.

Williams’ 5 PA Farm Show Favorites

Williams was a proud sponsor at the PA Farm Show, which brought agriculture and natural gas — two of Pennsylvania’s largest industries — together. We love attending the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, not only because it gives us the chance to eat great food and look at adorable animals but also because we get the opportunity to catch up and talk with our friends in the agricultural community. This year’s Farm Show has been notable for many reasons, but here are five that stick with us the most:

  • Horse hitching
    Williams was proud to co-sponsor the Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving Contest, which benefits the Farm Show Scholarship Fund. The Jan. 9 event with legislators and representatives from the agricultural industry was great fun to watch.
  • Public Officials Day
    The Jan. 10 luncheon saw the announcement of a new economic impact study of agriculture, which found that the industry has a $135.7 billion annual impact in Pennsylvania. Agriculture, along with natural gas production, is one of the state’s biggest industries, and the two have a long history of working together.
  • Food
    The food was the star, and natural gas powers many of your Farm Show favorites.
  • New calving corner
    Just look at how cute these new additions to the world are.

  • DEP clean water exhibit
    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection featured an educational exhibit of clean local water actions and activities. The importance of clean water is a value shared by Williams, which is why we’ve been proud to support efforts such as a community rain garden in Wyoming County and other environmental stewardship programs through our grant program.

The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show has been amazing, and we look forward to participating again next year!

 

5 PA Farm Show Staples Powered by Natural Gas

Agriculture is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries. In fact, the state Department of Agriculture and Team Pennsylvania found that the commonwealth’s agricultural industry has a $135.7 billion annual impact, with nearly 580,000 jobs created and $27 billion in wages paid as a result of agriculture.

This impact is on full display each year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event. The 102nd Farm Show is sure to be as popular as previous ones, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the more than 1 million-square-foot complex to check out the latest and greatest in Pennsylvania agriculture while looking at adorable farm animals and eating delicious food.

The event is also a perfect example of how agriculture works in tandem with other industries, such as its close relationship with natural gas. Natural gas and other energy sources are essential to heating the massive Farm Show complex, and many of the most popular food and drink items wouldn’t be possible without natural gas. Here are five examples:  

Milkshakes

For many visitors, PA Dairymen’s Association milkshakes are synonymous with the Farm Show. The milkshake stand is one of the event’s most popular food vendors, and lines are often long. Whether your favorite flavor is chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, a Farm Show milkshake will be served to you in a plastic cup, which is made from natural gas byproducts. Drink up!

Butter sculpture

Butter is for more than just for toast: It can be used to create artistic sculptures. The butter sculpture is a fixture at each Farm Show, and it is designed with a specific theme in mind. The creation is revealed with fanfare ahead of the event, and this year’s masterpiece, “Strength in Our Diversity,” highlights the career choices available in agriculture.

The sculpture is kept from melting by being continuously cooled through electricity generated in part by natural gas. Once the Farm Show is over, the half-ton butter creation will be melted in a methane digester to power a Juniata County farm, as well as homes in the area.

Potatoes

There are a multitude of ways to eat potatoes at the Farm Show. You can have them baked and topped with butter, deep fried into french fries or rolled in sugar as a potato doughnut. All of these options are available at the Pennsylvania Co-Operative Potato Growers stand. The fryers at the stand use propane to make some of your favorite potato treats.

Roasted almonds and pecans

The Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association stand has a variety of nuts for sale, and roasted almonds and pecans are among the most popular. The preferred source of energy for outdoor roasters? Propane.

Fried vegetables and chicken

Deep-fried delicacies at the Farm Show are more than likely powered by natural gas. Mouth-watering trays of fried chicken and lightly battered fried vegetables at the PennAg Industries Association stand are deep fried in fryers fueled by natural gas.

Enjoy all the food at this year’s Farm Show, and congrats to our friends in agriculture on another successful event!