DOE tops civilian Federal agencies in hiring veterans who make up 38 percent of the current DOE workforce. For DOE’s high-security mission and for energy companies and utilities, Veterans are team players and problem solvers trained in cyber-intelligence with a keen awareness of the need to protect the whole system from threats.
That’s why last week DOE and five energy trade associations launched “Veterans in Energy” (www.VeteransInEnergy.org), a national collaborative that will provide transition, retention, and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers. Veterans in Energy will be a central platform for energy companies to learn and share ‘best practices’ for recruiting, retaining, and supporting Veteran employees. The first national forum will take place this October.
Thoughtful Veteran-targeted hiring and retention by the energy industry is good for business and national security. According to DOE’s U.S. Energy & Employment Report, nearly 80 percent of energy and utility companies experience difficulty hiring qualified staff for technical positions. An aging workforce also hampers energy utilities, which could lose up to half their workers to retirement within the next decade, leaving critical technical and management gaps in America’s energy system. The nearly 200,000 military personnel exiting active duty annually represent a strong, talented source of new leadership for utilities, and with DOE’s help, energy firms are actively recruiting and promoting Veteran employees.
DOE has led the private sector and Government agencies in utilizing the Defense Department’s new Skillbridge policy to transition active duty personnel directly into private sector energy jobs when their service is completed. SkillBridge complements DoD’s Transition Assistance Program by allowing eligible Service members to obtain civilian job skills training from employers beginning up to six months prior to separating from the military.