Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a partnership with industry leaders from five electric and gas utilities to develop a plan that places veterans returning back home in jobs in the utility industry. The plan supports objectives that emerged from the New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit held in March, which focused on the state's efforts to support veterans and the military community.
"New York's Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation, and by expanding professional opportunities for them at home we can help to ease their transition back to civilian life and empower them for years to come," Governor Cuomo said. "This partnership will connect Veterans looking for employment with the technical skills and expertise to succeed and ultimately place them in positions in the energy sector. Our Veterans have served us admirably and selflessly -- and this is another way that we can serve them at home."
The state's utilities will designate one or more colleges as partners in providing veterans with educational opportunities in preparation for technical energy industry jobs. The New York State Division of Veteran's Affairs will be the lead agency for communications and outreach to veterans and will facilitate available employment opportunities. Monitoring and reporting on consortium members' progress in achieving action plan milestones will be run by the Department of Public Service.
The program follows a model set forth in the federal Troops-To-Energy Jobs (TEJ) program established by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), a national non-profit organization for identifying job opportunities in the energy sector for veterans. The New York plan will incorporate specific, measurable objectives, and an aggressive schedule for the implementation of the NYS-TEJ program.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) hosted the action-plan kickoff meeting for the NYS-TEJ program in White Plains on Wednesday. In addition to state agencies, the NYS TEJ consortium includes Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Consolidated Edison, Iberdrola USA, National Grid, and PSEG Long Island. Members have committed to actively coordinate with the CEWD to ensure that the New York State action plan is consistent with the federal TEJ program.
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "The New York Power Authority is proud to be a catalyst in working with other state agencies and utilities to leverage job opportunities in the energy industry for maximum benefit to returning-home veterans. Providing good, quality jobs is one significant way we can thank our troops and their families for their service to our country, and we're glad to be supporting Governor Cuomo in this worthy endeavor."
PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman said, "The Troops-to-Energy Jobs program reflects the appreciation of all us for the service that our returning vets have undertaken on behalf of every American. Governor Cuomo's leadership, the Department of Public Service and other state agencies are proud to be applying this program in New York State and supporting veterans in their transition to civilian life."
Director of the State Division of Veterans Affairs Eric Hesse said, "Troops to Energy Jobs, a program Governor Cuomo announced during his Veterans Summit, demonstrates his commitment to the Veterans of New York. His leadership in developing these relationships between State agencies, allowing us to take on ambitious projects like Troops to Energy, is unmatched. At a time when most of the news around Veterans' issues is negative Governor Cuomo leads the way in improving the lives of New York Veterans."
Senator George Maziarz, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, said, "Helping connect veterans with new career opportunities is our duty as Americans and as New Yorkers. The men and women of our military have done great things for our country, and setting them up for success as they transition back to civilian life is something we can do to recognize their special contributions."
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, "The energy industry is a major driver for the state's economy and provides one of the best opportunities for job growth. I thank Governor Cuomo and his administration, along with the state's utilities, for the priority they're giving to job placement in the energy sector for our returning vets."
Con Edison Chairman and CEO John McAvoy said, "Con Edison employs many veterans and supports the Governor's initiative to help those seeking jobs in the utility industry. Our military produces many of the brightest, most talented and dedicated men and women in the American workforce. We look forward to working with our industry partners in this effort."
President and Chief Operating Officer of PSEG Long Island Dave Daly said, "PSEG Long Island is proud to support Governor Cuomo's initiative to help our returning military veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life. At PSEG Long Island, we are creating a culture that is built on safety, responsibility and reliability, a culture that we find in our state's military veterans."
Chief Operating Officer for Iberdrola USA Kevin Walker said, "Our returning veterans represent a unique pool of talented individuals who are positioned for success in utility industry jobs and ready for the challenge. The men and women of the military have valiantly served our country and now it's our turn to do all we can to repay their many sacrifices."
President of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. James P. Laurito said, "Central Hudson recognizes the significant sacrifices and contributions made by our veterans, and supports this initiative as a way of giving back to them while strengthening our workforce with the skills and technical experience of those who served in our country's armed forces."
President of National Grid in New York Ken Daly said, "National Grid, along with other electric and gas companies, recognizes that veterans have spent their military careers protecting national security and are, among many things, battle-tested, self-motivated and safety-conscious--traits that translate well into a second career in the utility industry. By hiring veterans into the company, we are ensuring the continued production and delivery of safe, reliable power to New York homes and businesses, and that service members are continuing to protect national security as they work to deliver a product that fuels our lives and powers our economy."