LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – Veterans have more job opportunities in rural areas across the country thanks to the “Vets Power Us” initiative.
The program aims at employing veterans that will provide them career paths in electrical co-ops.
“I was here before the initiative took place, but it’s one of those things, it’s something that I really appreciate being a veteran. Not just being a veteran, but anyone that’s prior service, it’s a great program. They’re good people to have in your team,” said Jayme Huber, Engineering and Operations Vice President at Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO).
Jayme Huber has been working at NIPCO for more than five years and the skills he learned the Army translated to the job seamlessly.
“The skillset that veterans bring to our utility, they really dovetail perfectly with what we do. They’re serving a greater good, they’re part of a teamwork, they’re making decisions on the fly like when we get into disaster recovery. Those skillsets that make them succeed in the military is something exactly what we’re looking for in our utility,” said Matt Washburn, Executive Vice President and General Manager at NIPCO.
Five of the staff members are veterans and they cover different aspects of the utility works.
“They serve all kind of functions here. It’s very wide spread. We have engineers, telecommunications, metering digital technicians in our control center. So they serve a very wide range of responsibilities for us here at NIPCO,” said Washburn.
NIPCO has been a part of the initiative for four years and they all agree it has a positive impact for veterans in the workforce.
“Across the industry? Absolutely. It’s a great adder and it’s a great place to recruit and go after new employees for the utilities,” said Huber.
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