By Tony Khing
PG&E was recognized today (Nov. 10) for its sustained employer support of National Guard and Reserve service by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office.
PG&E received the Extraordinary Employer Support Award during a ceremony at the company’s Diablo Canyon Power Plant in recognition of the plant’s large contingent of veteran employees.
“Ever since World War I, PG&E has had programs to hire and train veterans and help them develop in their careers,” said PG&E Corporation Chairman and CEO Tony Earley. “It’s simply the right thing to do, and over the years veterans consistently have been key contributors in better serving our customers. We’re very proud to be acknowledged by the ESGR for supporting our National Guard and Reserve employees.”
Senior Vice President of Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer Ed Halpin praised PG&E’s veterans.
“The discipline, dedication and passion shown by veterans have played a big role in operating our Diablo Canyon Power Plant. It’s an honor to have the ESGR present PG&E the Extraordinary Employer Support Award at Diablo Canyon,” said Halpin, who was also a U.S. Navy submarine officer and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “We appreciate having this acknowledgement of those who have dedicated and sacrificed so much and are now serving our 16 million customers.”
PG&E has been a longstanding leader in employing and supporting veterans. For the last five years, the company has been ranked among the Top-100 Military Friendly Employers by G.I. Jobs Magazine. Last year, Military Times included PG&E for the first time on its list of best employers for veterans.
PG&E introduced the “1,000 Careers Project” last year whose goal is to hire 1,000 veterans into PG&E jobs over the next eight years. Last year, PG&E hired 223 veterans and through Sept. 30, the company is more than a third of the way to its objective. The company is on pace to achieve the 1,000 veterans hired standard in five years.
A program that has played a major role in helping PG&E attain this target is the PowerPathway program. Over the last three years, 255 of the 443 graduates (58 percent) are veterans with 75 percent of them (190) having been hired by PG&E and within the utility industry.
The PowerPathway training network is comprised of community college, community organization, workforce investment board, university and educational partners who collaborate with PG&E to provide training in response to California’s growing energy workforce needs.
PowerPathway has received praise from Vice President Joe Biden. The program held its first cohort specifically for active duty service members earlier this year in Washington state. And last year, PowerPathway graduated its first active military member.
PG&E’s Veterans Employee Resource Group has one of the company’s strongest chapters in Diablo Canyon. Out of the nearly 1,200 members, 230 of them (19 percent) are located at Diablo Canyon. The group founded in 2011 for veterans and their allies who act on behalf of veteran interests within the company and the service area.
PG&E has previously received honors from the ESGR. Last year, Earley was given the Patriot Award, presented to a supervisor for their support of employee reservists through various measures—including allowing for flexible schedules, providing time off before and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence. He also received the Seven Seals Award, which recognizes individual or organizational achievements which back the ESGR mission.
The company has also been recognized by the ESGR with three other awards: Statement of Support (2014) for its support of employees in the Guard and Reserve; Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award (2003), the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their backing of employees who serve; and the Pro Patria Award (2002), the highest award from a state ESGR committee given to companies who’ve provided the greatest encouragement to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices that make it easier for them to participate.
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