Based on the highly successful Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (UMAP) in Chicago between Local 18007 and Peoples Gas, the Michigan State Utility Workers Council (MSUWC) and Consumers Energy will pilot a gas bootcamp for current Michigan National Guard service men and women, as well as post 9/11 honorably discharged veterans. The idea for the program came to MSUWC President Pat Dillon and Power for America (P4A) Executive Director Jon Harmon after attending the 2015 UWUA National Convention and a regional economic development conference where the high unemployment and under-employment rate for individuals serving in the National Guard was highlighted.
“After the 2015 UWUA National Convention, seeing what Rick Passarelli and Local 18007 had accomplished with their UMAP, the Executive Board and MSUWC membership were determined to follow Local 18007’s lead and build a military assistance program for the state of Michigan,” Dillon explains. “Although structured differently, both the MSUWC’s and Local 18007’s programs help show the appreciation the union and its members have for what these individuals have done to ensure both our safety and our way of life.”
Working with Consumers Energy and the Michigan National Guard, the pilot boot camp will train 40 people at the Potterville, MI P4A facility over four weeks in meter reading, gas lines construction laborer and gas lines construction fuser. After completing the initial four-week training, successful individuals will spend three months with Consumers Energy as a paid intern.
Todd Marsh, manager of Learning and Development for Consumers Energy states, “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Power for America with the Michigan Gas Bootcamp for veterans. This program will provide foundational skills training in gas construction, as well as health and safety training to prepare veterans for employment with Consumers Energy. Power for America has a proven track record with programs of this nature, and veterans, the community, and Consumers Energy will benefit from this bootcamp.”