"Troops to Energy Jobs" Opens New Doors for Veterans
Originally published on the U.S. Dept. of Energy website
Having served in the military, I’m intimately aware of the role that energy plays in our ability to defend and uphold our national security. This became apparent to me in many ways during my time in the field, to the safety of my unit who ran fuel supply convoys in theater and the dangers we faced in carrying our duties, to hearing about the economic struggles of my relatives and friends back home to afford gas to drive and heat their homes. We understand, perhaps better than anyone, that our pursuit of energy independence and national security are closely linked.
Today, Secretary Chu joined the Edison Electric Institute and the Center for Energy Workforce Development as they announced a new program that will help bridge that divide and increase opportunities for Veterans in the energy sector. “Troops to Energy Jobs” brings together public, non-profit and private sector partners in a pilot program that will provide transitional career training and counseling to help Veterans enter the workforce and get jobs in the energy industry.
A partnership program like “Troops to Energy Jobs” is a great first step in the direction of helping solve the critical problem of Veterans unemployment in this country. The program will be managed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, a non-profit group of electric, natural gas and nuclear utility companies. The Energy Department will contribute to this partnership through the National Training Education Resource Center (NTER), a virtual campus that can offer interactive training for people online. After training, Veterans can be matched and then enter jobs related to their training with private sector employers who value the skills and experience we bring to the workforce. “Troops to Energy Jobs” is launching as a pilot program and its sponsors hope to be able to expand it to the entire energy industry.
As a proud Veteran and new employee here at Energy, I know how much this effort means to those who have served and are eager to continue their contribution to our national security. I look forward to following the stories of Veterans as they go through the program and begin to translate their military skills in to energy sector achievements.
Steve Dunwoody is a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Energy and an Iraq War Veteran.