NYPA Press Release
Utilities Thank Veterans Year-Round by Helping Them Find Jobs in the Industry
Aggressive plan by New York’s Troops to Energy Jobs program fills statewide need for skilled and talented energy workers
For Immediate Release: 11/10/16
Contact: Lynne Smith | Lynne.Smith@nypa.gov | (914) 681-6916
WHITE PLAINS—Veterans Day honors those who have served our country, and under the Troops to Energy jobs program launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s utilities reach out year-round to help our veterans find new work opportunities after their service.
The program, started in 2014, has helped place more than 500 returning veterans across the state in energy jobs. A six-member consortium of gas and electric utilities has mounted an aggressive plan to train and hire veterans and ensure they have the support and services they need.
“This statewide partnership is recruiting highly skilled and talented workers for the utility industry while helping veterans transition back to civilian life and reach their career potential,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “We’ve developed a comprehensive outreach and support strategy, actively recruited promising candidates, and are pushing for continuous improvement.”
Led by NYPA, the consortium includes Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, Avangrid (owner of NYSEG and RG&E), National Grid, PSEG Long Island, the Department of Public Service and the New York Division of Veterans’ Affairs. The partners and their veterans will march in tomorrow’s Veterans Day parade in Manhattan.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for launching the Troops to Energy Jobs initiative to provide returning veterans career opportunities in the utility industry,” said Audrey Zibelman, Public Service Commission chair. “The initiative has successfully placed veterans in electric and natural gas maintenance and construction, security, engineering and system operations. We strongly encourage utilities to continue reaching out and offering opportunities to veterans.”
Many skills acquired in the military translate particularly well to gas and electric utilities, which regularly hire for positions ranging from engineers and linemen to customer service representatives and finance professionals. Half of the industry’s workforce is eligible to retire in the next five to 10 years.
In the Troops to Energy Jobs effort, which coordinates with the non-profit Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), utilities update their websites and career awareness materials; establish relationships with new strategic partners and veteran-focused organizations; work with local colleges; develop recruiting and mentoring programs and tailor job postings to attract veteran candidates.
In parts of New York, veterans can attend veteran-only career information sessions and job fairs or get special consideration and training for union technical positions. Once hired, they can join a mentoring program that pairs them with another staff veteran, volunteer for a veteran’s council to recognize the group’s contributions, and obtain counseling and readjustment services from veteran resource centers.
Among its 2016 accomplishments, the consortium sponsored a veterans-only energy career fair, participated in the Armed Forces Day at the New York State Fair, partnered with the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs in a “22-a-day push-up” challenge during Suicide Prevention Month to bring increased awareness to suicide by veterans and participated in a National Gas Boot Camp at Fort Drum for transitional veterans.
As one example of outreach efforts, PSEG Long Island attended more than 20 job fairs, engaged with more than 750 veteran job seekers and provided on-the-spot resume writing tips to potential applicants.
“We actively help military members reenter the civilian workforce and ensure they have the support they need,” said David Daly, PSEG’s president and chief operating officer. “Veterans have spent their military careers protecting our nation and developing a skill set that fits with our company’s mission to provide safe, reliable service to Long Island and the Rockaways.”
Michael L. Mosher, president and CEO of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, said “More than 70 veterans are employed at Central Hudson, comprising more than 7 percent of our workforce, with 19 hired since Troops to Energy was launched. They fill a variety of critical needs in serving our customers, and bring skills and experiences they acquired while serving our country.”
“Recruiting veterans helps our company, our industry, and our nation,” said Ken Daly, president of National Grid in New York. “Military service professionals have valuable training, experience, and leadership and we are proud to move these dedicated servicemen and women from the front lines to the power lines."
Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E, noted that NYSEG and RG&E employ many veterans, and their service to our companies and country is valued.
“Veterans can bring important skills and experience to the workplace, and the Troops to Energy Jobs consortium is an important conduit to bring veterans into our companies and the industry,” Lynch said.
Joan Jacobs, executive sponsor for Con Edison's Veterans Steering Committee and vice president of Learning & Inclusion, said veterans have skills, experience and service that complements and strengthens their workforce.
"We're proud of the more than 150 transitional veterans we have hired so far, and look forward to reaching more through job fairs, training and education partners," Jacobs said.
NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Follow @NYPAenergy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, YouTube, and LinkedIn.