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Young professionals paving the way for future pipeline workforce

Kasey St. John
Tyler Tunic, a commercial optimization lead at Williams, is also the current Chair of Young Pipeline Pro

Tyler Tunic, a commercial optimization lead at Williams, is also the current Chair of Young Pipeline Professionals USA. Adding on to Tyler’s talents, he emceed the 2022 YPP USA Symposium on April 7 in Houston.

We chatted with Tyler about YPP USA and the exciting work they’re doing:

What is YPP USA and what is your role?

Young Pipeline Professionals (YPP) USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed in 2015 to address a knowledge gap in the pipeline industry. The YPP USA vision statement is a call for action that creates a natural bridge between the obligations of our senior industry leadership and the incredibly motivated group of Young Professionals; To Connect, Educate, and Develop the Future Leaders of the Pipeline Industry. Since its inception, YPP USA has offered its members leadership opportunities, monthly webinars, and site visits covering diverse technical topics ranging from pipe manufacturing to composite repairs. 

I am currently serving a two-year term as Chair of YPP USA. We are experiencing a heightened amount of support and interest as companies are looking for ways to lead into our energy future through the attraction and retention of Young Professionals. One of my major goals for my tenure is to host back-to-back YPP USA Symposiums in the Spring of 2022 and 2023 to capitalize on that interest.

What is the YPP USA Symposium and what is this year’s theme?

The YPP USA Symposium is the flagship in-person event for YPP USA. We bring together industry experts to discuss the future of the pipeline industry and the opportunities it presents as we transition to a carbon-neutral industry. This year’s theme is “Our Energy Future” and key topics include hydrogen, pipeline integrity and a senior executive panel discussion around workforce talent.

What has research told us about young professionals and their understanding of clean energy?

In 2021, the INGAA Foundation tasked YPP USA with a research project to understand current viewpoints of a Generation Z audience. One of the major findings was a fundamental disconnect between Generation Z’s ideal vision for our energy future and their understanding of our industry’s own vision. As Williams employees, many of us know what our company is doing to reach our climate commitment goals, including new energy venture efforts. However, it was clear from our research that focus group participants had no idea that companies in our industry were working toward such goals.