By Denny Boyles
FRESNO — After 22 years in the Air Force, Patrick Latour began looking for the next challenge in his life and the next opportunity for his family. A visit to PG&E’s website delivered both.
“As soon as I read the posting for the PowerPathway program, I knew it was what I was looking for,” Latour said.
This week, Latour and 16 of his fellow veterans completed the first phase of a unique PowerPathway cohort and joined the PG&E team as trainees in the Fresno Contact Center. That milestone was marked with a special pinning ceremony by Tony Earley, chairman and CEO of PG&E, along with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Madera Mayor Pro Tem William Oliver and Fresno City Council President Oliver Baines.
The customer service cohort was envisioned by employees in the Fresno Contact Center as a way to further help veterans find jobs. Nez Hosseini, a supervisor in the Contact Center and president of the Fresno chapter of the Veterans Employee Resource Group, said he felt that helping his fellow veterans was his duty.
“I remember being in their shoes, wondering where the next phase of life would take me. I knew they would bring unique skills and a strong sense of dedication to the jobs,” Hosseini said.
Earley, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, said that veteran can succeed in a variety of roles if they are offered the right opportunity.
“One of the challenges many veterans experience is that the special skills they’ve learned in the military don’t translate easily into many industries,” Earley said. “What we can do to help is identify their strengths and recognize that they already have the core values we need of teamwork, safety and service.”
Swearengin praised PG&E’s commitment to hiring veterans.
“This is a smart business decision by PG&E to engage with veterans. I can think of no better group,” Swearengin said.
The PowerPathway graduates will begin training as customer service representatives on Nov. 2 and are expected to be at work in the Fresno Contact Center by the end of the year.
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