For Release: 10/03/2016
First insulated concrete walls go up on new Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas $20 million training center in Little Village
100,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will train current workers, prepare high school students for utility careers and generate neighborhood economic opportunities
Chicago, IL - Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas celebrated a major milestone in the
construction of the utilities' new state-of-the-art training center in Little Village at 4228 W. 35th Place.
The first eight 22-by-10-foot insulated concrete wall panels were raised on top of the foundation.
Construction for the training center began July 6. Today crews began installing the walls, which will
consist of 146 22-by-10-foot panels when completed.
Installation of 12 to 16 wall panels per day will continue over the next two weeks. By the end of the
year, the roof installation is expected to be finalized and electrical and plumbing work inside the
building will begin. Structures will be installed starting Nov. 1 and completed by mid-November.
Once complete, Gas City, as it will be called, will be the largest natural gas mock city training site in
"We are building for the future," said Lori Flores Rolfson, vice president - operations and
maintenance, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. "This new training center will help us meet future
retirement challenges while creating new opportunities for students, our employees and our
UJAMAA Construction Inc., a Chicago minority-owned general contractor, was awarded the contract
for the training center construction, which is bringing construction jobs and creating opportunities in
the Little Village neighborhood.
As part of the partnership with UJAMAA, 85 percent of the spending on sub-contracting will go to
minority-owned businesses, with about half of the total spending going to Hispanic-owned
subcontractors and 10 percent going directly to companies based in Little Village. This will result in
indirect jobs that will benefit Little Village. Additionally, the increased traffic to and from the facility
during and after construction will provide an ongoing boost to the Little Village economy through
increased commercial sales.
The Training Center
When completed, the center will provide training for 1,600 employees of Peoples Gas, North Shore
Gas and their contractors annually. It will also prepare Chicago high school students for careers as
utility workers through a vocational training program in partnership with Little Village Lawndale High
School, Fenger Academy High School and Dunbar Vocational High School. Recruitment for
participation in the utility training program begins this week.
A stormwater retention system, which manages stormwater runoff, is already in the ground, and
environmental remediation of the land where the training center's Gas City will be constructed has
been completed. The new training center is expected to be open for service by summer 2017.
Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas are both subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) and
regulated natural gas delivery companies. Peoples Gas serves approximately 830,000 residential,
commercial and industrial customers in the city of Chicago. North Shore Gas serves approximately
159,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 54 communities within the northern
suburbs of Chicago. For more information about natural gas safety, energy efficiency and other
energy-related topics, visit www.northshoregasdelivery.com or www.peoplesgasdelivery.com.
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