February 26, 2014
Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Veterans.” This hearing examined how America’s veterans can play a pivotal role in America’s energy renaissance that is already creating much-needed jobs and growing the economy.
“While millions of Americans are still out of work, the situation is even harder for our nation’s veterans – especially younger veterans who served our country in the years since September 11th,” said Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn. “There is no doubt that the energy industry is one sector of our economy that is currently booming, especially due to development on private lands and we owe it to our veterans to ensure that they are an integral part of this economic boom from increased energy production.”
Witnesses who testified before the Subcommittee offered their views on how America’s energy renaissance can provide great opportunities for veterans after their career in the military.
Douglas L. Smith, President & CEO of Little Red Services, an Alaskan oil field services company, stated that, “In our search for new employees we have found a valuable resource of candidates in our veterans…With the unique aspect of our equipment we cannot hire experienced personnel but we are hiring veterans who exhibit character, integrity, loyalty, leadership, teamwork, and the essential ingredient of attitude.”
Michael Nasche, military veteran and Veterans Outreach & Engagement Specialist for Baker Hughes highlighted the opportunities for veterans in “field work, where the value of their experience is easily apparent.” Nasche added, “Mechanical assembly, field operations, machining, repair and maintenance and logistical coordination all fit within this category. We believe, however, that veterans are a great fit in far more positions, and we are expanding our outreach to match veterans to corporate and enterprise positions as well.”
Christopher A. Haslinger, Director of Training at the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, endorsed hiring veterans as a “truly awesome opportunity to create major win-win results for the industry and hundreds of thousands of returning veterans, every one of whom should be considered as a true American hero and treated accordingly.”
Nat Kreamer, U.S. Special Forces Veteran and CEO of Clean Power Finance, noted the importance of military training as an asset in hiring veterans saying, “The US military is the best training institution in the country. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are motivated, disciplined, organized leaders who have the skills the solar industry requires to continue its rocket-fast growth.”
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