This week, Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, named Energy Northwest a 2016 Military Friendly® Employer for its efforts in recruiting veterans to work at the public power agency.
Criteria for the designation include a benchmark survey score across key programs and policies, such as the strength of company military recruiting efforts, percentage of new hires with prior military service, retention programs for veterans, and company policies on National Guard and Reserve service.
It is an honor for us, as Energy Northwest is committed to hiring military talent, knowing first-hand that recruiting from the military community is not only the “right thing to do,” but it makes good business sense.
“There is a strong relationship between the military, particularly the Navy, and commercial nuclear power,” said Brent Ridge, EN vice president for Corporate Services/chief financial & risk officer. “But we have found great team members from all branches of the service who have strengthened our organization.”
Energy Northwest employs nearly 300 military veterans in departments including Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Health Physics, Security and Human Resources.
We asked several of our employees who are veterans to talk to us about how their military service prepared them for positions in the energy industry.
Their responses are below:
Amy D., Human Resources
First, I must say that joining the military was the first decision I made as an adult and the best decision I’ve made thus far. Without the military, I wouldn’t be where I am today so I’m truly grateful for all the values and skills I received during my experience. Those values include integrity, respect for authority, teamwork and to always have a plan. By learning those values early on, I’ve been able to structure not only my career, but my personal life around those core values.
To me, working with integrity means having high standards not only in yourself, but your coworkers. The teamwork I see in other groups as well as my own, leads us to trusting each other and leaning on one another for help when needed. To me, that is the key to any organization achieving a favorable outcome no matter what the task may be.
Spain A., Operations
Teamwork. My experience in the Navy taught me the benefits of teamwork. Whether it was getting the USS Stennis ready for its first sea trial; maintaining the USS Lincoln battle ready in the Persian Gulf or helping keep submarines in top shape down at Pearl Harbor Shipyard; all could not be done successfully without teamwork.
I learned early on in my naval service how much great teamwork, within the department and across departmental lines, ensures mission success. I thrive in a teamwork environment and that is why I enjoy working at Energy Northwest. It takes teamwork to strive for excellence and the teamwork I’ve seen here is on par with my most successful Navy tours.
Blanca A., Energy Services & Development
I believe that working in today’s energy industry, individuals must have passion and be driven with a can-do attitude. You have to be flexible and open to the changing environments. One must provide excellent customer services to internal and external customers. Overall, you have to be successful at stakeholder management.
The Marine Corps empowered me with invaluable skills that I use on a day-to-day basis in my line of work. I have a strong pride in my performance that enables me to be driven. In the Marine Corps you constantly have to shift gears and take a new approach on things, this has enabled me to embrace changes and be more open minded. I remember my gunnery sergeant always saying, “You are a Marine 24/7,” meaning we had to hold ourselves at higher standards and be more of a role model to the public. I think of this when I provide customer service and strive to represent EN in the best way possible.
Throughout my entire military career I worked in a unit, maintaining constructive relationships. This enabled me to be a strong team player focused on the overall success of the team versus individual success. My military experience has prepared me for work in today’s energy industry.
Bob Schuetz, Plant General Manager
The military culture has many similarities to the culture found at successful plants in the nuclear industry. Whatever their service or specialty, military veterans all recognize the importance of teamwork and camaraderie to organizational success. Veterans understand the need for clear standards and expectations, and then rigorously uphold and reinforce them. On this Veterans Day, take the time to honor their service, and thank them for choosing to be part of our team.
Randy C., Energy Services & Development
I served six years in the nuclear Navy as a submariner. I operated the electric plant on board the USS Thomas Jefferson. My work today at the Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project directly correlates to the experience I gained in the military with starting and stopping generating units, operating backup emergency generators and synchronizing separate power sources to each other and to the power grid. It was a tremendous learning experience and has served me well in the energy industry for more than 30 years.
Thank you to all who have served.
(Posted by John Dobken)