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APR 2018

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56 G.I. JOBS | APRIL 2018 | GIJOBS.COM organization that aims to provide professional development and retention services to veterans working in the energy industry. First discussed in 2015, participating energy companies, trade associations, federal agencies and labor groups held two planning conferences, assembled a board of directors, wrote by-laws and applied for 501(c)3 status. "I feel there is a genuine need for a national-level networking group for veterans in the energy business, and this group helps fill that void," says Hal Pittman, director of external communications for Arizona Public Service (APS). A Navy veteran, Recognizing the pipeline of talent flowing steadily from the U.S. military every year, energy employers and trade associations created a platform in 2011 to tap that pipeline: Troops to Energy Jobs. Launched by the Electric Energy Institute (EEI) and managed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), the Troops to Energy Jobs initiative helps service members transition to civilian careers at more than 50 energy companies in the U.S. Getting veterans in the door is the first step. Helping them to thrive in their careers is the next step, which led industry leaders to create Veterans in Energy (VIE), a nonprofit Pittman agreed to serve as the first president of the VIE board. "Our board members and the attendees at our first two conferences served, and we want to support our brothers and sisters who have served. If we're helping the cause by providing mentoring and growth opportunities for energy industry vets, then we're paying it forward and doing good work." According to the latest CEWD survey, veterans comprise 11 percent of the workforce in investor- owned energy companies and make up 22 percent of the nuclear workforce. "Veterans are perfectly suited to transition to the energy industry," says Jon Smith, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Smart Energy Gas Americas Responses and a retired Navy officer who serves on the VIE board. "Technical skills, a passion for results and a desire to serve are among the core traits that a veteran brings with them when they move to civilian work." Ann Randazzo, executive director for the Center for Energy Workforce Development, said one of the key best practices that emerged from Troops to Energy Jobs was the LIKE MANY INDUSTRIES, employers in the energy sector face a shortage of skilled workers due to an aging workforce and retiring baby boomers. Recent industry surveys indicate that approximately 25 percent of electric utility, natural gas utility and nuclear generation employees will be ready to retire in the next five years. VETERANS IN ENERGY New nonprofit aims to help veterans thrive in the energy sector. BY DAN FAZIO GET HIRED IN ENERGY

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