In an effort to combine solutions for two national concerns in one program, "Troops for Energy Jobs" is attempting to link thousands of future job openings in the energy industry with troops leaving military service. The pilot program, sponsored by Dominion, will last approximately two years and will be carried out by five utilities around the United States.
"Thousands of energy jobs are opening up all over the country, and they offer terrific careers to servicemen and women who have completed their military tours," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion. "There is a natural fit between the military and the energy industry. Both cultures are civic-minded and first and foremost safety-focused. Military personnel are also well trained and disciplined -- key qualities we look for in this industry."
The program, Troops to Energy Jobs, is part of the national Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and is designed to establish an ongoing process of outreach, recruiting, education and training to create a pathway for military personnel to transition from the service into civilian careers in the energy field.
A survey by the CEWD in 2009 estimated that nearly 100,000 openings would occur in the energy industry by 2015 as engineers, technicians, line workers, plant operators, pipefitters and other workers leave energy companies through retirement and normal attrition. As many as 250,000 jobs may open up by the end of the decade.
"This amounts to a huge wave moving through our company and our industry that will leave us urgently in need of finding qualified replacements," Farrell said. "The pool of men and women leaving the military is the perfect place to find a great number of them."
Dominion began specifically looking to the military for potential new hires a few years ago as the full scope of the company's future personnel needs became clear. "Today we have more than 220 openings in various professional and craft jobs at Dominion," Farrell said. "And those numbers will grow significantly over the next five to 10 years. This is a promising opportunity for veterans -- and one near and dear to me personally. The pilot will provide us with valuable information so this initiative can benefit both future employees and the company."
Dominion currently employs more than 1,200 veterans across 14 states.
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