Power Industry Launches 'Troops to Energy Jobs' Initiative

By Cheryl Kaften July 08, 2011

When U.S. troops return from the frontlines, they will not be joining the unemployment lines, along with 9.2 percent of the American population. 

On Monday, July 11, Tom Farrell, Chairman of Dominion, the Virginia-based power company, will announce the nationwide launch of Troops to Energy Jobs—designed to create an accelerated transition for returning veterans into civilian jobs in the energy sector nationwide.

Farrell, who is also the incoming chairman of the Edison Electric Institute , will be joined on the podium at the National Press Club at noon by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu ; Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

Representatives of the four other pilot energy companies joining Dominion in the initiative – American Electric Power, Southern Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Arizona Public Service –also will be on hand for the occasion.

The Troops to Energy Jobs initiative will be led by Edison Electric Institute and managed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD).

With nearly 40 percent of the nation's energy workforce either eligible for retirement or departing their jobs because of attrition during the next five years, electricity and natural gas companies and the nuclear power industry are facing a potential worker shortage.  Meanwhile, many military veterans are returning home after tours of duty without a clear path toward jobs, or ready access to apply skills learned in the armed services.

Like CEWD’s Get Into Energy Career Pathways program, Troops to Energy Jobs will help veterans earn stackable credentials using uniform curricula, so that the skills they learn may be applied to a variety of energy jobs and lead quickly and easily to advancement. The processes, templates. and tools created as a result of the initiative can be used by the whole industry.

"The extensive military training, strong work ethic, and leadership skills endemic to success in the military make veterans highly desirable employees for energy companies," Farrell said. "The goal of the Troops to Energy Jobs program is to develop and perfect a robust national model for more quickly and effectively connecting this stream of qualified veterans to jobs that will be opening up in the energy sector."

 “Troops to Energy Jobs will provide accelerated pathways for former military to obtain high-paying jobs in the energy industry and will provide energy companies with highly desirable candidates,” said CEWD Executive Director Ann Randazzo. “Everybody benefits. The economy as a whole benefits, because the stackable credential system provides veterans with valuable skills they can use throughout the rest of their career in a variety of work settings. We are helping to produce a more trained and valuable workforce in general.”

The pilot program will launch this fall. For more information about CEWD’s Troops to Energy Jobs program, visit the Center for Energy Workforce Development website.  

Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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