By Tony Khing
PG&E, Sentinels of Freedom and Sonoma Raceway will join forces to play hosts to the third Military Career Day at the raceway’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend on June 23.
The event will include workshops, panel presentations and a job fair featuring more than 40 Bay Area companies. In addition, the career day will include a Q&A with NASCAR driver and active U.S. Navy Lt. Jesse Iwuji.
To highlight PG&E’s 1,000 Careers Project and its commitment to hire 1,000 veterans by 2023, PG&E is partnering with Sentinels of Freedom, a nationwide nonprofit that helps severely wounded and injured post-9/11 veterans in successfully completing higher education and finding career-focused employment.
“Veterans, especially those with a service-related disability, may need help transitioning into long-term civilian careers. We’re proud to sponsor the third Military Career Day at Sonoma Raceway as part of our continuing support of veterans,” said Mary King, PG&E’s vice president of human resources, a member of the board of directors for Sentinels of Freedom and a former Army Captain.
“We thank PG&E, Sonoma Raceway, NASCAR, and all Americans that support our most valuable national treasure — our veterans,” said Mike Conklin, Sentinels of Freedom Chairman and CEO. “This event is an incredible opportunity for veterans to take that next step into finding long-term success.”
Sentinels of Freedom is assisting PG&E in recruiting Bay Area employers for the event. Previously, PG&E and Sentinels of Freedom have co-sponsored student veteran resource centers at San Francisco State University, College of Alameda and Los Medanos College in Pittsburg. The centers provide resources about military benefits, a peaceful place to study, and networking opportunities for veterans.
The Career Day is open to all active, guard, reserve, veterans, and military spouses. The focus will be on translating the skill sets of military members transitioning to the job market, and include information on non-traditional careers for veterans with disabilities. The event will be held in a hospitality chalet located above Turn 2 of the road course from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The first 200 Career Day participants will be admitted free to the raceway on June 23. They will also receive two reserved seat tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on June 25. Job seekers must pre-register on the Sonoma Raceway website.
Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a career-building workshop that will concentrate on resume building and how to succeed in job interviews. The workshop will also include a leadership panel which will focus on veterans with disabilities thriving in new careers. Employers participating in the Career Day are from various fields including the utility, health care, law enforcement, and chemical industries.
PG&E’s long-standing support of veterans
PG&E’s endorsement of veterans dates back to World War I. The company has a strong commitment to veterans, as evidenced by its “1,000 Careers Project,” a long-term program with the goal of hiring 1,000 veterans into PG&E careers over the next eight years. Since the program’s inception, PG&E has hired 455 veterans — close to half of its goal in nearly two years.
Other ways PG&E supports veterans include:
- PowerPathway: This energy-industry training program debuted in 2008 to develop the next generation of the utility industry workforce. In almost a decade, 850 have graduated — including nearly 500 veterans. Among PowerPathway’s accomplishments over the last two years: creating a new program with transitioning military personnel, employing its first active service member who participated in the program and its first direct-to-hire class for customer service representatives.
- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve: PG&E has received numerous honors from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office that develops and maintains employer support for National Guard and Reserve service. In 2016, the company received the Extraordinary Employer Support Award for its sustained support of National Guard and Reserve service.
- Military Times: For the first time in the seven-year history of the list, PG&E was named as one of the “Best for Vets: Employers” in 2016.
- Military-friendly employer: For five straight years, PG&E has been recognized as a Top-100 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine. In addition, the company was named as a 2017 Military Friendly Spouse Employer by Military Spouse Magazine.
- Working with veteran businesses: Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) members are major business partners with PG&E. The company spent an all-time high of $224 million with DVBEs in 2016. The DVBE spend was part of a record $2.85 billion spend with diverse suppliers last year.
- Employee Resource Group: Established in 2011, the organization helps educate, support and develop PG&E employees with military experience, as well as their supporters. Now in its sixth year, more than 1,100 employees have joined the group.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.