Veterans ready for a new future at National Grid

By Ellen Cooke

Fifteen soldiers finishing up their military service recently got the training they need to enter the work force … our energy industry’s work force, to be specific.

Jefferson Community College (JCC) and our training facilities in Watertown and Syracuse, UNY served as classrooms for the veterans for a six-week workforce ready training program called N.Y. Troops to Energy Jobs Natural Gas Boot Camp. Soldiers graduated from the program – certificates in hand – February 17 at a ceremony attended by representatives from our company and our co-sponsor/funding partners Con Edison, the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), JCC and Fort Drum.

To smooth their transition to civilian work and life, soldiers studied math, principles of natural gas, customer service and piping, along with resume writing and interview skills training. And they got to meet with energy industry professionals on the JCC campus at their recent graduation.

Our commitment to the new program – which has received Department of Labor funding for more classes in the future – is just part of our commitment to veterans through programs and services including: Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG), a Veteran to Veteran ‘buddy’ program, Thank a Service Member, and a SoldierCare volunteer effort where employees send letters and care packages to servicepeople overseas.

“We’re honored to help put veterans to work at National Grid,” says Tim Graham, vice president, Customer Meter Services, NY. “These dedicated men and women who have served our country can be part of National Grid, and help our company thrive and grow.  We have the opportunities and the jobs; they have the skills we need. It’s a win-win if ever there was one.”

Shown (l-r) are: Jack Minor of Champion, Jason Atkins of Fort Drum, Hayden Lee of Carthage, Todd Little of Fort Drum, Kirke Best of Lowville, Eduardo Ramos of Watertown, Jacob Jones of Fort Drum, Dylan Perez of Fort Drum, Daniel Conti of Fort Drum, Anthony Thomas of Fort Drum, Wilson Chan of Watertown, Stephen Hinds of Fort Drum, Anthony Pease of Watertown. Missing from photo: Patrick Godfrey and Justin Zambrano, both of Fort Drum.

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