By Mike Rencheck, CEO, AREVA Inc. North America
On Monday, among the parades, waving flags and memorial services that commemorate Veterans Day, it is important to remember that the members of our military often come home and face a new challenge— civilian life. Fortunately, there are ways that we, as residents and members of the business community, can show our gratitude to these American heroes. We can hire veterans.
At AREVA, a nuclear energy supplier headquartered in Charlotte, we are dedicated to hiring military veterans. In fact, about 10 percent of our Lynchburg-based workforce of almost 2,000 people is comprised of veterans and we have similar hiring practices in Charlotte, Richland, Wash., and Columbia, Md., our other larger locations. We’ve found that the job skill parallels between the military and the civilian energy industry allow veterans to translate their experience into a rewarding career with great opportunities for advancement. Our military veterans have the training and leadership skills necessary to tackle the needs of a society with a growing demand for energy.
Across the United States, nuclear and other clean energy is an important part of our lives. Nationwide, nuclear energy accounts for about 20 percent of the electricity that powers every computer, electric car and light bulb. This clean, safe and reliable energy depends on a strong and talented workforce, and we need to ensure that we are developing and attracting top talent, particularly as new nuclear plants are built and we continue to service our existing fleet. Nuclear energy already employs thousands of Americans in well-paid careers. Careers in business, communications, human resources, legal, engineering, information systems and building trades, just to name a few.
At AREVA, we have been very successful in our efforts to recruit military veterans, who represent a growing part of our team across the country. In fact, military veterans comprise nearly 10 percent of our U.S. workforce. To encourage and continue this trend, we support the Troops to Energy program, as well as many other military recruiting events, and even launched a webpage in 2012 specifically dedicated to opportunities for veterans. These valuable resources help retiring military personnel find careers that are a good fit for them.
As we celebrate this Veterans Day, I believe we should honor our veterans by helping them in their transition to successful careers in their civilian lives. At AREVA we pledge to thank those who have protected our great nation year-round by hiring veterans whenever possible.
See the original op-ed in the News & Advance.