Tucson Electric Power is helping military service members transition into the civilian workforce through a new internship program that provides private-sector work experience to those who are about to retire or separate from the military.
In May, TEP began a partnership with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to offer the Career Skills Program onsite. Service members are eligible to apply for the program six months before they are scheduled to separate from the military.
“We provide them an opportunity to gain employment skills while they are transitioning into the civilian workforce,” said JoLee Bracamonte, a Talent Acquisition Specialist who is coordinating the program.
The first intern, Master Sgt. Serena Duncan, will complete the program in August in the Human Resources department. She retired from the U.S. Air Force in July after 24 years of service.
In Human Resources, Serena has participated in job interviews, facilitated schedules, reviewed resumes and learned about employment laws. She also has visited Customer Care and Procurement to shadow employees and gain networking skills.
Serena described the program as a “godsend.” She said she would like to pursue her passion of working on a Human Resources team or possibly in logistics after she retires.
“Twenty-four years of military life was all I knew,” said Duncan, who served in Kuwait, South Korea and the U.S. “This opportunity has provided me job experience that I can put on my resume.”
The Career Skills Program reflects TEP’s ongoing commitment to hiring and supporting veterans. More than one in 10 TEP employees are military veterans. TEP has a section on its Career Center webpage on tep.com dedicated to veterans and is a Troops to Energy Jobs employer that helps veterans transition into the energy industry. Read more about TEP’s veteran support.
TEP expanded its military outreach this year by sending Human Resources representatives to Davis-Monthan twice a month to meet service members transitioning into the civilian workforce. They talk about the various TEP departments, job opportunities, resume writing and interview techniques.
Bracamonte said the program is important because many service members are unaware of how they can transfer their military experience to the civilian workforce.
“Veterans are fully equipped to be successful in the workforce. We strive to keep the qualified talent local. This is a perfect, diverse pipeline for our company,” Bracamonte said.
The Career Skills Program allows TEP to have early access to highly skilled service members. The service members continue to receive their full military pay and benefits while participating in the program, which is free for the TEP departments.
The internship runs between 90 and 120 days. The next internship is scheduled to start in August in the Information Technology department.