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Connecting Military Veterans to Rewarding Energy Careers

While the pundits continue to pore over election results, it is important that we take today to honor our veterans and to focus on one issue that remains important to both political parties every day—veteran employment.

Our vets have risked life and limb for their country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. It must be more meaningful than a “thank you for your service.” These men and women need jobs and careers after they leave the military, and our country’s energy industry needs them.

As a Navy veteran, the energy industry’s efforts to hire and retain veterans are so personally important to me. The industry has a long history of employing military veterans because they have the training and skills that match those required for technical, engineering, support, and leadership positions in energy companies. Many of the skills and abilities that our veterans learn in the military are highly suited to the energy industry, including a focus on safety, teamwork, and civic-mindedness.

But, we can always do more, and that is why the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is honored to support two important initiatives to recruit and retain veterans—“Troops to Energy Jobs” and “Veterans in Energy”.

EEI launched the Troops to Energy Jobs program in 2010 under the leadership of then-EEI Chairman Tom Farrell, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion. Managed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, the program helps to provide a path to rewarding energy careers for veterans following their service in the military.

Troops to Energy Jobs links job openings in the energy industry with troops leaving military service. To this end, www.TroopstoEnergyJobs.com features a number of useful resources for transitioning service members, such as a career planning roadmap, as well as educational, coaching, and job search tools. The goal is to accelerate the training and employability of veterans for energy positions where we need new workers—both experienced individuals and those just starting their careers.

One of the many best practices identified by Troops to Energy Jobs is the creation of Veteran Employee Resource Groups to help companies support the needs of employees who are military veterans. Many energy companies now have Veteran Employee Resource Groups.

A new national initiative, Veterans in Energy, hopes to take this a step further by connecting military veteran employees to others around the country and by providing leadership opportunities to veterans in energy at the state, regional, and national levels. The goal of Veterans in Energy is to provide transition, retention, and professional development support to military veterans working in the energy industry.

Veterans in Energy held its inaugural meeting, the 2016 National Leadership Summit, on October 13-14 in Washington, DC. The National Leadership Summit attracted nearly 200 attendees and featured leaders from both the energy industry and the federal government. These speakers explored the important work being done around the country to support transitions from military to civilian life and discuss how veterans can have strong, successful careers in energy.

By helping our talented and dedicated veterans make a successful transition to careers in the energy industry, we are working to power America’s energy future.

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