UWUA Helps Reshape Future of Post-Military Education, Training Through Military Credentialing Initiative Report

Utility Workers Military Assistance Program Highlighted as a National Model

WASHINGTON, DC (MARCH 15, 2021) – Today, The American Legion with funding from the Lumina Foundation unveiled a report, The Future of Credentialing of Servicemembers and Veterans: Leveraging Partners, Policies and Resources, offering recommendations to help educators, employers, veterans and servicemembers translate skills earned in the military into post-military career opportunities. The Utility Workers Union of America’s (UWUA) director of veterans affairs and workforce development, Rick Passarelli is one of the report authors.

“Far too many veterans and servicemembers find out colleges and employers struggle to measure the skills they earned in the military, leading to frustration and hopelessness as they transition to civilian life,” said Passarelli. “This report will help organizations rethink how veterans’ experiences can help further their success.”

The report – which solicits input from a broad stakeholder group – identifies opportunities in the following areas: public-private partnerships, recognition of learning and stackable credentials,  tools and resources, state and federal legislation and policy and research on emerging issues.

In addition to offering promising solutions for employers and educators, the report spotlights existing model programs and public-private partnerships that benefit veterans today including the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (UMAP) and Skill Bridge. UMAP launched in 2011 and has grown to benefit over 700 veterans over the last 10 years. It is an award-winning, national training-to-placement program with employer partnerships in several states.

“It’s our hope this report and the partnerships we’ve forged through UMAP can clear the way for many more veterans to navigate into good, family-supporting post-military careers like those offered through the utility sector,” said UWUA President James Slevin. “This report will help to change minds about what life beyond the military can look like. We appreciate The American Legion’s and Lumina Foundation’s investment in this research.”

The full findings are available online here.


Chartered in 1945, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents around 50,000 active members employed in America’s utility sectors including the electric, gas, water, and related professional and service industries. James Slevin is the UWUA’s National President. For more information visit https://uwua.net.