COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) today announced its participation in a pilot effort to link veterans leaving military service to job openings in the energy industry. The new pilot program, called Troops to Energy Jobs, will last approximately two years and will be carried out by AEP and four other U.S. electric utility companies in conjunction with the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD).
The program will establish an ongoing process of outreach, recruitment, career coaching, mentoring, education and training for veterans whose military skills and experience match up with the workforce needs of energy companies.
"Military veterans tend to have the technical training, experience and personal characteristics that make them a great fit for careers in the utility industry," said Robert P. Powers, president of AEP utilities and chairman of CEWD. "This pilot program will provide veterans with a pathway to job opportunities in our industry and allow AEP to continue its commitment to hiring those who have served our country for skilled positions such as power plant operators, chemical and maintenance technicians, and line mechanics."
Nearly 10 percent of AEP's roughly 18,700 employees have served in the military. AEP's military leave policy provides pay differential and benefits for up to two years for reservists and National Guard members who are called to active duty in emergency situations. The company's family military leave policy allows employees to take up to 10 days of leave to spend time with a family member who has been called to or returned from active duty. AEP has been honored as one of the nation's top 100 "military-friendly" employers by G.I. Jobsmagazine for eight consecutive years.
Other companies participating in the Troops to Energy Jobs program are Arizona Public Service Co., Dominion, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern Co. Troops to Energy Jobs is managed by the CEWD, a non-profit consortium of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities; their associations (Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, Nuclear Energy Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association); and the unions who serve these industries (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.)
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.