Consumers Energy, Oakland Schools Offer Natural Gas Boot Camp To Train, Hire High School Graduates

 Consumers Energy, Oakland Schools Offer Natural Gas Boot Camp To Train, Hire
                            High School Graduates

PR Newswire

PONTIAC, Mich., Aug. 18, 2014

PONTIAC, Mich., Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A natural gas boot camp program
between Consumers Energy and Oakland Schools is helping the energy company
meet a critical employment need while providing marketable skills and
permanent jobs to interested high school graduates. 

"This partnership with Oakland Schools is a win-win for all. Part of our
promise to Michigan is to help create good-paying technical jobs like the ones
offered through successful graduation from this natural gas boot camp," said
Daniel Malone, senior vice president of distribution operations, engineering
and transmission for Consumers Energy.

Consumers Energy is anticipating many long time employees to retire over the
next few years. Replacing the highly-skilled employees is critical to the
energy company, especially as it continues to enhance and expand its natural
gas system. The company has about 15,000 employees and contractors.

The first natural gas boot camp graduates are scheduled to be recognized at a
commencement ceremony today, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Oakland Schools
headquarters, 2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Pontiac. Featured speakers will include
Malone, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland Schools
Superintendent Vickie L. Markavitch and Midwest Energy President Patrick Van

"At Oakland Schools we believe in 'Learning today. Transforming tomorrow.' We
were pleased to help develop this apprentice program because it mirrors our
mission, and offers students an excellent vocational career option designed to
provide marketable skills and knowledge. We continue to look for innovative
ways to provide educational opportunities to our students," said Markavitch.

Fourteen students successfully completed the six-week course designed in
partnership with Oakland Schools and modeled after the Midwest Energy
Association courses.

The boot camp was taught by an Oakland Schools Technical Campus instructor,
and the 102-module course curriculum included safety education, understanding
natural gas properties, utility construction as well as learning specific
tasks performed by gas service technicians. Daily physical conditioning was
part of the program to help prepare students for the physical aspect of these

Consumers Energy provided subject matter experts throughout the boot camp and
participated in mock job interviews with students.

Natural gas boot camp graduates who pass all pre-employment testing will be
offered related positions with Consumers Energy. The next natural gas boot
camp will begin this fall. 

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of
CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million
of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Oakland Schools, one of 56 intermediate school districts (ISDs) in Michigan,
was established in 1962. ISDs are regional service agencies that offer support
services to school personnel that are best delivered regionally, as measured
by cost, size and quality advantages. Oakland Schools is an autonomous,
tax-supported public school district governed by Michigan General School Laws.

SOURCE Consumers Energy

Contact: Consumers Energy Media Contacts: Debra Dodd, 586-918-0597, or Brian
Wheeler, 517-788-2394; Oakland Schools Media Contact: Danelle Gittus,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.