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DOE’s New Initiative Helps Veterans Find Jobs in Energy Industry

Photo: Steven Chu, DOE

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu recently announced a new DOE-supported initiative aimed at helping U.S. troops in this economy. Troops to Energy Jobs will educate, train and help veterans find jobs in the energy industry.

With about 40 percent of the industry’s workforce retiring within the next five years and veterans looking for jobs in this sluggish economy, this initiative takes care of both issues.

“Today’s veterans can serve as the next generation of energy leaders,” Chu said. “We need a new generation of workers to fill critical positions like plant operators, line workers, pipe fitters, engineers and technicians.”

Chu quoted President Barack Obama in a statement on the announcement of this initiative when he said the U.S. has a “sacred obligation” to stand by the troops when they come home, as they did for their country.

The secretary noted the unemployment rate for troops who served after September 2010 was 11.5 percent compared to just over 9 percent for nonveterans. He also said the initiative is part of a bigger goal to compete in the global energy race.

“We’ll need to upgrade our electric infrastructure, use more energy efficiently and develop and deploy low-carbon technologies,” Chu said. “All of these are job generators and will help America become more competitive in the future.”

The five energy companies involved in the initiative include American Electric Power, Dominion, Southern Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Arizona Public Service. This program is part of the National Center for Energy Workforce.

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