VETERANS COMMITTEE: A Partnership for Success

Colonel Sam Whitehurst, U.S. Army (Ret.), Vice President, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services

Since its founding in 2012, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services has been assisting organizations to integrate veterans and their families into their existing programs. This work is only possible with partners who are committed to honoring the service of our military-connected community.

Since 2015, UWUA has been one of those partners. It’s a partnership that has created opportunities and positive outcomes for hundreds of veterans. In California, Michigan, Chicago and across the U.S., Dixon Center is assisting the UWUA to increase the impact of workforce development programs that are the industry standard in creating opportunities for veterans and their families.

Our approach is simple. We find organizations that:

  • believe in the experience and skills that veterans have learned during their active-duty service;
  • provide quality training that complements veterans’ military experience; and
  • are connected to careers that provide meaningful salaries, access to healthcare and benefits, and opportunities for advancement.

Dixon Center then introduces wrap-around services that assist in overcoming the other obstacles that can sometimes impede a successful transition after military service. There is no organization that better represents what Dixon Center seeks in a partner than the UWUA.

This commitment to our veterans is reflected through the leadership of President Slevin, Veterans Committee Chair Rick Passarelli, and UWUA local leaders on the frontlines fighting for their members, including those who are veterans. It’s reflected in the UWUA’s Veterans Committee, whose members are engaged every day in elevating their fellow union veteran brothers and sisters.

UWUA also taps into another factor that is important to supporting our veterans and their families: it allows them to continue to serve. UWUA members provide critical services to our country, ensuring that our homes and businesses have power, heat and water. Even during challenges such as the recent pandemic, the resilience of UWUA members was an example to all of us of what it means to serve.

President Slevin says it best when describing UWUA members, “We’re not just ‘Essential by Industry, Exceptional by Choice.’ We’re exceptional by action, exceptional by unity, and exceptional by the unwavering strength that lies within each of us.” This quality also defines veterans and why Dixon Center values our relationship with the UWUA. We’re excited about what the future holds and to work with a partner who shares our noble purpose: to make the lives of veterans and their families better.