Nearly everyone in the power sector has a co-worker or colleague who served in the armed forces, or themselves served in the military. While this has been the case for decades, specific efforts to hire veterans into the generation industry have gained steam and are being better recognized in recent years.
To highlight efforts that go above and beyond in aiding veterans in their career goals, the ELECTRIC POWER conference and exhibition and Prequalified Ready Employees for Power (PReP Intl.) this year inaugurated the Faraday Awards.
Named for English scientist Michael Faraday, whose research helped form the foundation of the modern field of electromagnetism and whose inventions led directly to electric motor technology, the Faraday awards are intended to “recognize and honor the employers, programs and partnerships that have successfully focused on elevating the careers of American veterans in the energy industry.”
The inaugural awards were presented on April 21 during the 2015 ELECTRIC POWER conference in Rosemont, Ill.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) was honored for its PowerPathways program, which was launched in 2008 as a way to ensure the training and development of the next generation of utility workers. The program has trained and placed 340 veterans into utilities, with an additional 320 veterans engaged in other elements of the initiative.
Power Pathways was recently recognized by the White House for providing exemplary training and development for veterans, and it is only one part of the company’s overall Military Workforce Development program to engage veterans and give them the tools to have successful careers at the company. Through these initiatives, PG&E has established successful partnerships with eleven community colleges throughout California.
Also honored was the Office for Workforce Education at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), and Patterson-UTI Drilling Co., which together formed a public-private partnership program to screen, prepare, train and onboard returning veterans for careers in the oil and gas drilling industry.
The collaborative effort “provides meaningful careers to veterans and needed talent for mission critical jobs across the world where safety and security are paramount.” Since 2012, the program has enjoyed a 92% placement rate for over 150 participants.
—Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).
(Left-to-right in the splash photo: David Claveran, PG&E; Matt Sadinsky, PReP Intl; Pamela Wakefield, Patterson-UTI Drilling Do.; Brooke Polk, IADC; Tina Dealy, Lone Star College; Methella Green, Patterson-UTI Drilling Co.; John Simon, PG&E. Courtesy: Mark Campbell Photography)