Veterans Committee Update

VETERANS COMMITTEE UPDATE – Rick Passarelli – Chair, Veterans Committee

DoD, UWUA, P4A Partnership Creates Pathway to Utility Industry for Veterans

Recently the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and Department of Defense (DoD) entered into an historic agreement that connects troops leaving the military with training and employment opportunities in the utility industry.

The agreement signed by UWUA President Jim Slevin and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Education and Training Fred Drummond, officially recognizes the UWUA as a Career Skills Programs (CSP) training provider and an endorsed SkillBridge Provider by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans deserve careers

“What differentiates this program from many others out there is that we don’t just provide veterans or transitioning service members with training and leave them to navigate the hiring process on their own,” Slevin said. “We offer individuals who are seeking a new career pathway a job and the opportunity to earn a good living in the utility industry.”

The program will be administered through UWUA’s Utility Worker Military Assistance Program (UMAP) and its Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A). Service members will have the opportunity to receive on-the-job training before they fully separate from the military — a model that aims to make the transition from military to civilian life go as smoothly as possible. UMAP’s record of nearly 100 percent job placement provides troops with the option to receive training in the utility industry including in-demand renewable energy sector and gas industry jobs.

“Programs like UMAP give veterans the opportunity to translate the skills they learned in the military to a civilian career opportunity,” said Drummond. “They’re getting a valuable skill that will lead to a job and in some cases they are even earning academic credits that can be applied if they advance their educational opportunities.”

No cost to service members

Grants through the Department of Labor and other allied organizations fund supportive services – including bus passes and other scholarships — making it possible for veterans to participate at no cost to them. UMAP and P4A have found unique support among service members and their families going through the programs.

Besides this exciting opportunity the union is also working to certify UWUA’s renewable energy apprenticeship program. Once this process is complete, veterans will have the option of using the GI bill to enroll in the apprenticeship program and work in operations and maintenance of solar and wind farms and battery parks.