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Today we recognize the service and sacrifice of American Veterans and their families.
We are grateful to our veterans for ensuring our security and the security of our allies and partners over the course of our history.
And we know that veterans strengthen our Department of Energy (DOE) community and continue making meaningful contributions to the Nation long after they separate from the military.
At DOE, our commitment to veterans is clear. We have consistently outpaced our veterans hiring goals since 2014. In Fiscal Year 2016, veterans accounted for over 31% of our approximately 900 federal hires. We have also placed a special emphasis on hiring disabled veterans, who accounted for 14% of the veterans hired in the course of this year.
We also know that the broader energy workforce is in need of men and women with the skills, dedication, and leadership abilities that are displayed by veterans. We are pursuing several lines of effort to encourage veterans to join this dynamic sector of the economy. For example, DOE’s Solar Ready Vets initiative provides jobs training for service members who want to work in solar energy when they transition from active duty and the program is currently operating on ten military bases around the country. Thus far, virtually every graduate of this program has received a job offer to work in the solar sector.
We are also proud that DOE’s veterans have helped establish a new employee’s resource group called Veterans in Energy. This is the most recent initiative to be launched based on the recommendations made by the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative that the Department founded in June 2015. This is a group created for veterans by veterans in order to support the many former service members who have chosen energy careers. This growing group is poised to provide professional development opportunities and shape the future leadership of the energy sector.
As we reflect on the importance of Veterans Day, we remind ourselves of veterans’ sacrifices to the country in the armed forces and for what they contribute to DOE’s mission. We must continue to build bridges towards continued public service for tomorrow’s veterans in our low-carbon economy and we thank them for answering the call to ensure America’s environmental, economic and national security.