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PG&E Granted $500,000 to Train Veterans Program provides recently separated veterans with job-readiness training

Release Date: February 29, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

FRESNO – Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced that the State of California awarded a $500,000 grant to the State Center Community College District to provide a unique veterans’ education program that will train future PG&E employees. The job-readiness training will help recently separated or separating veterans looking for good paying jobs, and PG&E in its growing need for skilled workers. The veterans’ program is part of PG&E’s new PowerPathway™, a workforce development program aimed at recruiting and training skilled craftworkers and technicians. Training will take place at Fresno City College and the City College of San Francisco.

“PG&E is proud to support the women and men who have so bravely served our country by offering classroom education and physical training that could lead to a new career as a line worker, mechanic or other technical position with a utility,” said Ophelia Basgal, vice president of civic partnerships and community initiatives for Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “Having well trained and qualified employees is an important step in growing our own workforce and delivering on world class customer service.”

“This is an ideal partnership because it helps move our recently discharged veterans into high-wage occupations after their dedicated service to the country, and it helps PG&E meet the need for specialized utility workers to betters serve ratepayers,” said Victoria Bradshaw, Secretary of the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

"Job training programs like this partnership between PG&E and State Center Community College District that are funded by these grants, help pave the way into civilian jobs and careers for the veterans of this state who put their lives on hold to serve and protect us," said Tom Johnson, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

The grant will provide training for approximately 80 recently separated veterans leading to employment opportunities at PG&E. The grant will provide funding for the following:
  • a four month college accredited Utility Line Worker training class for 50 recently separated veterans,
  • an 80 hour mechanic training program for 25 recently separated veterans with mechanics experience,
  • an 8 hour week Supervisor boot camp for 6 recently separated non-commissioned officers.

Though employment is not guaranteed, PG&E intends to hire qualified program graduates for positions open within the company. PG&E is contributing over $280,000 in in-kind and grant funding over the next 18 months to support the programs. In-kind support includes program management, training and outreach.
Recently discharged veterans have a difficult time finding civilian jobs and are more likely to earn lower wages for years. The 2007 study conducted by Abt Associates Inc. found that 18 percent of veterans were unemployed within one to three years of discharge, while one out of four who did find jobs earned less than $21,000 a year.

For more information about technical careers at Pacific Gas and Electric Company visit www.pge.com/careers/powerpathway

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