The IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee was launched last year to address the many troubling issues that our service men and women face every day, with a heavy focus on lessening joblessness among returning veterans. Now, the group is zeroing in on concrete ways to help vets further their careers.
On May 28, the Veterans Committee met at Weakley Hall to learn more about PG&E’s PowerPathway, an eight-week training program that focuses on preparing military veterans for high-road careers in the utility industry.
“The hiring process at PG&E is an extremely difficult process. So our goal is to provide the candidates who go through the PowerPathway program an advocate within the company,” said PowerPathway Program Manager Jason Cameron. “That’s my job; to coordinate the program and also to serve as an advocate for those students when they apply for jobs at PG&E.”
PowerPathway is free to eligible participants. Many PowerPathway participants are able to use their GI bill benefits for the program. While there’s no guarantee of a job for PowerPathway graduates, 81% of those who’ve completed the program over the last three years have found prevailing wage employment in the industry, and 65% have secured jobs at PG&E.
IBEW 1245 Veterans Committee members Erick Varela and Pam Pendleton are both graduates of PowerPathway. Varela has since secured an apprenticeship with PG&E. Pendleton is employed at another IBEW-represented employer and is still working with the PowerPathway staff for assistance in advancing her career.
Cameron urged the committee members to help spread the word about the next PowerPathway training on Electric Operations, which will begin in late August at American River College in Sacramento. (Applications are being accepted until July 11. Vets can learn more and apply at www.pge.com/powerpathway/.)
The committee, which seeks to help vets both within and outside IBEW 1245, spent the afternoon discussing programs and initiatives being pursued in their local communities.
- Navy veteran Jaime Tinoco, who works for the City of Lompoc, shared news from a local committee seeking to build a “Fallen Warriors” memorial in his town.
- City of Redding retiree and Navy vet Mike Grandmain announced plans for a veterans’ clay shoot and/or charter boat trip in Redding this summer.
- National Guard reservist and NV Energy lineman Jordan Bean encouraged other committee members to join him at the veterans committee booth at the upcoming Lineman’s Rodeo in Reno on June 7. Proceeds from the rodeo will benefit the United Way’s veterans’ assistance programs.
The group also brainstormed on new ways to broaden their reach. They decided to identify local and regional Veterans Day Parades and activities to join this fall. For more information and updates, visit www.ibew1245vets.com.