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Partnership to support Troops-To-Energy jobs initiative

ALBANY – A partnership with industry leaders from five electric and gas utilities to develop a plan that places veterans returning back home in jobs in the utility industry was announced on Wednesday. The plan supports objectives that emerged from the New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit held in March, which focused on the state's efforts to support veterans and the military community.

“New York’s Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation, and by expanding professional opportunities for them at home we can help to ease their transition back to civilian life and empower them for years to come,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This partnership will connect Veterans looking for employment with the technical skills and expertise to succeed and ultimately place them in positions in the energy sector. Our Veterans have served us admirably and selflessly – and this is another way that we can serve them at home.”

The state’s utilities will designate one or more colleges as partners in providing veterans with educational opportunities in preparation for technical energy industry jobs. The New York State Division of Veteran’s Affairs will be the lead agency for communications and outreach to veterans and will facilitate available employment opportunities. Monitoring and reporting on consortium members’ progress in achieving action plan milestones will be run by the Department of Public Service.

The program follows a model set forth in the federal Troops-To-Energy Jobs (TEJ) program established by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), a national non-profit organization for identifying job opportunities in the energy sector for veterans. The New York plan will incorporate specific, measurable objectives, and an aggressive schedule for the implementation of the NYS-TEJ program.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) hosted the action-plan kickoff meeting for the NYS-TEJ program in White Plains on Wednesday. In addition to state agencies, the NYS TEJ consortium includes Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Consolidated Edison, Iberdrola USA, National Grid, and PSEG Long Island. Members have committed to actively coordinate with the CEWD to ensure that the New York State action plan is consistent with the federal TEJ program.

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "The New York Power Authority is proud to be a catalyst in working with other state agencies and utilities to leverage job opportunities in the energy industry for maximum benefit to returning-home veterans. Providing good, quality jobs is one significant way we can thank our troops and their families for their service to our country, and we’re glad to be supporting Governor Cuomo in this worthy endeavor.”