Oil and gas industry tries to lure veterans

May 23, 2016

A partnership among veterans groups, the oil industry and a key senator could help soldiers and sailors build careers back home while staying in the fight against terrorism abroad.
The American Petroleum Institute started the Veterans Energy Pipeline with help from Vets4Energy and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in February and aims to steer veterans to jobs in the energy industry that match their military training.

"They know we're producing a resource that we don't buy from a foreign country. It's like they're back in the game again."

Manchin told The Washington Examiner the program is part of his work to support veterans returning home. Manchin started the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, which has 90 members from both parties, and found it natural to work with industry and vets groups to help them find potentially lucrative work in oil and natural gas.

"There are a lot of jobs in there and, bottom line, these people have skill sets," he said. "We're just trying to match them up, their skill sets with the work that's needed, and we want to keep them locally as much as we can."
The website for the program directs service members to enter their branch of service and experience, and the search shows them jobs for which they would be a good fit. Employers also can go to the site, search for what kind of job they need filled and it will show them military ranks that could fill the position.
About 6 percent of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a rate comparable to the overall jobless rate in coal states such as West Virginia and Kentucky. API President and CEO Jack Gerard said the program is designed to help bring veterans back home into a stable environment by giving them a solid career.
The oil and gas industry is not far away from what Gerard calls "The Great Crew Change." He said about 50 percent of the oil and gas industry's workforce will turn over in the next 10-15 years as workers age, and bringing service members into the fold would provide companies with workers used to hard work.
About 950,000 jobs could open in the oil and gas industry by 2020 and as many as 1.3 million by 2030, according to a study by IHS Global.

Read entire article at Washington Examiner.


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