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Formal Apprenticeship and GI Education Benefits Soon Available for Transmission Training

by on August 9, 2017
Recognition of AEP Transmission’s Technical Skills training program standards by the Department of Labor enables AEP Transmission line mechanics who are U.S. military veterans (or currently serve in the National Guard or Reserve) to apply for GI Bill benefit programs.

(Story by Linda O’horo)

In June, the U.S. Department of Labor approved the AEP Transmission Technical Skills training program standards, meeting the National Standard of Apprenticeship and recognizing journeyworker transmission line mechanics as a part of the National Apprenticeship System.

This recognition enables AEP Transmission line mechanics who are U.S. military veterans (or currently serve in the National Guard or Reserve) to apply for GI Bill benefit programs.

Scott Smith, senior vice president of Transmission Field Services and Controls, is excited about this opportunity which positively impacts our recruiting and retention strategies, while assisting military veterans and their family members in their new career path.

An Army veteran, Smith is an Executive Sponsor of AEP’s Military Veteran Employee Resource Group. Eleven percent of AEP employees are military veterans.

“Currently we have a strong need here, with about 150 open positions in Transmission Field Services,” Smith explained. “I view this program as a win-win for both AEP and veterans. We find that, generally, military veterans are a good fit for Transmission jobs for a number of reasons. We know that they are used to, and like being team players. They also understand the importance of following safety procedures.”

Tom Householder, AEP managing director of labor relations, said, “AEP, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) have worked together to create employment opportunities for veterans who have served our nation. This apprenticeship program and the ones run nationally by the IBEW and the Building and Construction Trade Unions create opportunities for veterans to ‘earn while they learn’ now, to create a great career with a certified set of skills for the future.”

Marketta Franklin, technical training manager, added that this blue chip project has been in motion for a few years. “Our commitment to implementing this program was reinforced by a number of veterans enthusiastically contacting us, and requesting AEP’s participation in this program. Giving our veterans the opportunity to take advantage of these benefits is a way to show our appreciation and gratitude for their service. We see it as a win-win that we will allow our linemen (even those who are not veterans) to be recognized as national qualified journeymen.

“We are currently closing the loop with the government agencies, and are excited to launch this program,” Franklin added. The T-Line group will soon receive targeted communications about this training opportunity.

For more information about AEP Transmission’s apprenticeship training, contact Rebecca King, Training Center administrator for the ApprenticeshipUSA program, at (740) 964-5418 (rrking@aep.com), or Marketta Franklin (740) 964-5483 (mlfranklin@aep.com).

Learn more about ApprenticeshipUSA: https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/.

 

From → News From AEP

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