There are 2.2 million women veterans in this country; citizens who have served our country in uniform and who are now going on to serve our communities and workplaces as positive forces for America’s competitiveness. The energy workforce offers prime opportunities for our women veterans as it grows rapidly and faces a high retirement rate in its skilled workers – and we’re partnering with the Department of Energy to prime women veterans to engage in this critical sector.
VA’s commitment to women veterans is second-to-none. Our department-wide Women Veterans Program, led by VA’s Center for Women Veterans, is the focal point of our advocacy – the nexus for enhancing access to our services, and the driver of our initiatives. The Center for Women Veterans is working with the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Energy Department to connect women veterans with employment pathway information, skills training programs, and energy literacy to enter into high-paying energy jobs.
Resources like Troops to Energy Jobs, a project of the Center for Energy Workforce Development started in 2011, help veterans translate their military experience into the skills that will help them excel in energy jobs and identify additional training resources. We are working to build on these resources, educating veterans about energy career opportunities and showcasing successful women veterans in the energy industry on the Department of Energy’s Women @ Energy series.
Veterans have specific skill sets that benefit the energy technical sector, and veterans’ high reliability and priority on safety make them desired hires in the energy sector. Energy jobs continue service for the country, increasing national security through energy independence and contributing to the American economy.
As the nation’s advocate for veterans, we won’t rest until we will serve all of them as well as they have served all of us.
Elisa Basnight is the Director for the Center for Women Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs.