Sunrise Engineering has been involved in various training and qualification services since 1996, when one of our natural gas clients, Southwest Gas Corporation (SWG), contracted us to perform plastic pipe joining training and qualifications for its contractors in Arizona, Nevada, and California. This partnership continued to expand over the next several years and was such a success, that Sunrise was invited to expand its services to include design and project inspection for SWG. Over the years Sunrise continued to expand its Training Services territory to areas of Arizona, Nevada, Washington, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah for companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Cascade Natural, SoCal Gas, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and Dominion Energy.
What is Training Services?
The Operator Qualifications (OQ) rule (49 CFR Part 192, Subpart N and 49 CFR Part 195, Subpart G) requires that pipeline operators document that their employees have been “adequately trained to recognize and react to abnormal operating conditions that may occur while performing a specific task.” This rule was adopted by the Code of Federal Regulations in 2001. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an operator is responsible for:
- Developing an Operator Qualification (OQ) program, following their written OQ plan.
- Establishing a covered task list applicable to their systems.
- Defining the training qualification requirements for personnel performing covered tasks on their pipeline facility.
- Ensuring that their contractors and vendors comply with their program requirements.
This OQ rule provided additional opportunities for Sunrise to expand its current training and qualifications to contractors performing work for not only SWG, but other energy companies. In addition to performing training and evaluation services, Sunrise expanded training and qualifications to municipalities and companies falling under state jurisdictions, such as master meter customers, large mechanical and plumbing companies, and pipeline projects inspected and approved by various state utility commissions.
History of Sunrise Engineering Training Services
- In 1996, Sunrise landed its first contract with SWG to perform plastic pipe joining training and qualifications for its contractors in Arizona, Nevada, and California.
- In 1998, Sunrise began training and qualification of SWG onsite contractors in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- In 1999, SWG added welding qualification to Sunrise’s training services responsibilities.
- In 2000, SWG hired Sunrise to provide operator qualifications training, which was a major contract.
- In 2004, SWG contracted with Sunrise to provide basic computer skills training to SWG employees.
- In 2012, Sunrise began working for Cascade Gas, a large gas operator in Yakima, Washington.
- In 2014, Sunrise began working for PG&E.
- In 2016, Sunrise began working for SDG&E. We started with just operator qualifications of their contractors at their training center in San Diego, California. Now, we have two full-time instructional design employees who work in San Diego.
- In 2020, Sunrise hired three instructional designers, one analyst, and two administrative support employees for SWG to work with their Gas Operations support staff.
- In 2020, we begin working for So Cal Gas in Pico Rivera, California doing tapping and plugging classes.
- In 2020, we begin working for Dominion Energy in Salt Lake City, performing pipe joining qualifications for all their contractors in Utah.
Training Services Today
Today, Sunrise provides training and evaluations, consultation for OQ programs, development and customization of training, and turn-key oversight including inspection, design, engineering, GIS, and project management. Sunrise Training Services has 20 training specialists/evaluators with over 400 years of combined experience ready to assist clients with their needs, whether it be training, evaluations, or any other service.
Our very knowledgeable and highly capable team of evaluators maintains credentials through Industrial Training Services (ITS), Energy Worldnet (EWN), and Veriforce. Sunrise serves clients and communities all over the western United States including Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. However, we are willing and available to travel to clients’ locations to better serve their needs wherever they may be located.
At one point, Training Services was one of the most profitable departments in Sunrise Engineering. Ernie Taylor, Vice President, comments that “the key to success is a lot of hard work, creating lasting relationships, and serving both clients and employees.”
For any future trainers, it is important to learn your responsibilities, work hard, serve our clients, and enjoy helping others. Sunrise is always looking for employees that have the experience and credentials that our clients require us to have. You can view any available openings here.