Industry News & Tips

Veterans are filling the skills gap—with a little help from RigUp

The growing renewable energy industry needs resilient workers with an aptitude for leadership, and heeding that call is a crew of highly-trained veterans. Through our Veterans Network, RigUp is working together with other organizations to create a pipeline between military service and the civilian workforce.

The Veterans Network focuses on recruitment and support of veterans, with the end goal of getting them placed into long-term renewable energy jobs. That starts and ends with education, says Cody Earle, managing director of the program. Our training program educates hiring managers on what a military person brings to the table, and maps their experience to on-the job skills. 

“In the military, they would have received specialized training on different types of equipment and they know how to fix things, which is especially important when we’re hiring for wind tech,” Earle says. 

Other key qualities of veterans are their discipline, respect for procedure, and attitude on the job. “A seasoned soldier would have gone through hard working conditions, and so their resiliency as an employee is going to be huge,” Earle says.

Veterans would have also received leadership training, something Earle says “you’re not going to get from a normal candidate.”

Once the sourcing team is up to speed, they get to work finding jobs for trained veterans by working closely with organizations such as Airstreams Renewables. This accelerated training program graduates veterans with the vocational skills needed for the renewable energy and telecommunications industry. Their non-traditional classroom offers a hands-on training model, and the high standards set by accrediting bodies provides a straight shot to gainful employment. RigUp takes it from there, hiring veterans right out of the program. RigUp has put more than a dozen veterans to work directly from Airstreams in 2020 alone.

“What’s worked great for us is the speed that Rigup has offered candidates jobs,” says Grant Johnston, the vice president of business development for Airstreams. “And RigUp does a great job with the offer process.”

Most veterans are placed in roles as wind turbine technicians. “That’s a really good job for people just getting started,” Johnston says. “And those are jumping off points for a great career.”

Johnston has observed first hand what it means for veterans to get hired. “We have homeless veterans who show up to our main campus. They drive to our facility with everything in their car, and tell us “you’re my last hope.”

That’s why Airstreams tries to catch veterans as close to when they get out of the military as possible, Johnston says. “Seeing the look on veterans’ faces when they get hired is priceless.”

RigUp is proud to hire veterans and reward their service to our country with long-term career opportunities. 

 

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