The Natural Gas Inspection and Special Services (NGISS) department recently added 38 new employees to their service center in the Las Vegas area. The majority of these new employees will be inspecting natural gas pipeline projects for Southwest Gas. Others will be inspecting the quality and accuracy of the contractor that marks out the location of Southwest Gas’s pipelines for 811 calls. These new hires are a direct result of a new contract awarded by the Southwest Gas Corporation and will help to meet the growing demand for these services and to expand our capabilities in this area.
Natural gas inspection is an essential service that ensures the safety of the public and the environment. Natural gas pipelines are critical infrastructure that must be inspected regularly to identify and address any potential problems. Sunrise Engineering has been providing natural gas inspection services for many years and has developed a reputation for excellence in this area. The company’s team of experts has extensive experience in natural gas pipeline inspection and has worked on projects of all sizes and complexities. Sunrise has been providing services to Southwest Gas for 25-plus years and they are a very important client to us. We had a contract with Southwest Gas a few years ago for contract inspection work but lost that contract in a bid. Determined that we would win the contract when it came up for bid again, Sunrise has been preparing and positioning itself to reclaim this work.
“We hire competent employees and let them do their job; they are smart and hard-working,” said Darren Fox, Senior Vice President and NGISS Service Center Manager.
There were a lot of challenges in bringing on 38 employees at the same time. First, we needed 38 people to fill the positions. We held a couple of open houses at our office in Las Vegas and invited the 40 best candidates, and their spouses, out of the 75-plus resumes that we received. This was an introduction to Sunrise and what we have to offer. We followed that with individual interviews, offer letters, and onboarding. We also had to purchase enough trucks for each new employee. We chose white Nissan Frontier trucks, which we outfitted with Sunrise logos, first-aid kits, fire extinguishers, and traffic cones, and then get transported to Las Vegas. Additionally, we had to get phones and iPads purchased and set up for each new employee, plus a handful of them needed laptops. Finally, each new employee needed new PPE equipment and inspection tools.
“It took a lot of work, but everyone from our CEO, HR department, IT department, Fleet Manager, and admin staff jumped right in and helped with whatever was needed. We owe a special thanks to Jeff Stephenson, who interviewed 40-plus candidates over a four-day span,” Darren added.
The majority of these new employees were working for another company that had the previous inspection contract and had inspection experience already. New inspectors will have to go through a three-week training class and be able to pass Southwest Gas Operator Qualification Tasks. They will all be in the field, with the exception of the manager, who will be both in the field and in the Las Vegas office.
The decision to hire 38 new employees is significant for Sunrise Engineering, and it reflects the company’s commitment to providing high-quality services to its clients. These new employees represent an approximate 9% growth for Sunrise as a whole and about a 62% growth for the NGISS service center. The NGISS service center has 99 employees working out of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, and Arizona. In addition to the NGISS service center, the Training Services group has 28 employees, and the Natural Gas Design group has 18 employees.