Future Pipeline Workers Training For Jobs Coming To Green Countr - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Future Pipeline Workers Training For Jobs Coming To Green Country

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The International Union of Operating Engineers, and three other unions, is providing training for free. The International Union of Operating Engineers, and three other unions, is providing training for free.
"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Pawhuska resident Heather Swindell. "It's something I've always wanted to do," said Pawhuska resident Heather Swindell.
"Other than road construction, I've done fast food restaurants. This right here is going to change everything," said Cleveland resident Nathan Owens. "Other than road construction, I've done fast food restaurants. This right here is going to change everything," said Cleveland resident Nathan Owens.
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma -

Unemployment numbers are higher in all but two of Oklahoma's 77 counties. LeFlore and Sequoyah Counties are the only two where the jobless rate fell.

But new jobs are on their way to Osage County in the oil industry. A new pipeline is being built, stretching from Cushing to Illinois.

It will mean as many as 400 new jobs--many of those for Osage tribal members.

People are getting hands-on training right now, gaining the entry level skills they'll need to enable them to work on a new pipeline project.

"Lubricating machines, checking the fluids, and just being there basically as a helper for the pipeline operator who is going to be operating the excavator," said training director Dough Minnich.

The International Union of Operating Engineers and three other unions are providing training for free, so new workers will be ready to work on the Flanagan South Pipeline Project.

It's a 600-mile oil pipeline from Illinois to Cushing.

"Great that they're bringing in new jobs to Oklahoma, of course. They're bringing in fossil fuels that we all use every day of our lives and we'll be using for a long time, and we've got to have this infrastructure in our country to keep going," Minnich said.

Since the pipeline will cross through Osage County, the Osage Nation is coordinating the free training.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," said Pawhuska resident Heather Swindell.

Swindell is excited she and the others could soon be working in a matter of weeks.

"It gave me the chance, the opportunity," she said.

It's an opportunity for good paying jobs.

"Other than road construction, I've done fast food restaurants. This right here is going to change everything," said Cleveland resident Nathan Owens.

The work on the Flanagan South pipeline will last about nine months, but the training and experience will help some begin a career in the energy industry if they choose one.

"It's a great opportunity. I couldn't wait to get out here and start doing it, provide for my family for the rest of my life," Owens said.

The jobs pay anywhere from $18 to $50 an hour.

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