Tucson Electric Power is a powerhouse when it comes to leveraging the strength and skills of veterans.
Since a program to recruit veterans was launched in 2017, TEP has provided 66 internship opportunities for veterans and hired 33 of those participants to fill a wide array of well-paying and challenging positions in our industry.
At TEP, 11 percent of employees are military veterans.
“Not only do we appreciate their service to our country and the sacrifices they’ve often made, but veterans are critical to our talent pipeline,” said Talent Acquisition Specialist JoLee Bracamonte, who leads our veteran recruitment efforts. “They help us build a more diverse workforce and, they bring a wealth of leadership, dedication and teamwork to our roles.”
The federal SkillBridge program provides retiring and transitioning service members the opportunity to participate in a training program in an area aligned with their military work experience. Participants receive their military pay and benefits during their time in the program.
TEP also participates in career fairs for veterans and has developed a strong partnership with military bases throughout the United States. And the support doesn’t stop when they’re hired. The company’s employee-led Veteran Business Resource Group has been vital in keeping recruits connected and engaged, Bracamonte said.
Below, three veteran employees share more about their transition to roles in the energy industry.
When Doing the Right Thing is Your Life’s Work
When Jack Wolcott stepped into his role as TEP’s Program Manager of Corporate Compliance, it felt like the job he had been preparing for his whole life.
Right out of high school, Jack was looking for independence, adventure and experience. He joined the Air Force in 1997. He couldn’t have known how much of all three he would gain throughout his service, until he retired in 2017.
He’s been in his role at TEP three years now. “It’s a perfect fit for me,” he said. “I had tons of responsibility in the Air Force. It was like going 200 miles per hour and doing work that had a huge impact. Post-military service, I wanted a role where I could share all of that experience.” He also wanted to work for a company that was motivated to do the right thing. “I think this company is socially responsible because they want to be, not because they have to be. Doing the right thing is baked into everything we do.” Read his full story here.
Recreating a Sense of Teamwork and Camaraderie After Service
Doyace Wilson thought he’d complete four years in the Air Force when he joined out of high school. Just enough time to gain experience and offset the cost of college.
He ended up retiring 21 years later, transitioning to civilian life with an internship as a TEP Engineering Project Manager. “It was a good fit because I understand the value of producing a quality product. If we make a mistake, there are consequences. I also like the stability of this group and I appreciate that people are willing to help each other,” said Doyace, who is involved in TEP’s veteran’s business resource group.
“I also like that our company serves the community. In the Air Force, we tried to make sure we were an active force in the community, focusing on volunteering and providing financial support, so that’s why TEP’s willingness to get involved is really important to me, whether we’re giving out school supplies, sponsoring food drives or participating in the Christmas Parade.” Read his full story here.
Finding Impactful Work After Service
Sarah Wise served for six years, assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base repairing aircraft maintenance equipment, before tapping into the Skillbridge program to begin meeting with companies that might have available opportunities.
She was intrigued by the work at TEP, noting she had never been to a substation before. “My knowledge was really built around a circuit breaker the size of your hand. Now, I’m working with ones the size of a room. The biggest change was seeing it all on such a large scale, but it was surprising how much knowledge transferred.”
Wise said there’s a real sense of mission and camaraderie with her team. “It’s important to me to be part of something that has a larger impact. In the military, I was part of keeping our country safe. At TEP, I get to make sure City of Tucson always has electricity. I’m still part of something just as big and impactful.” Read her full story here.
For more information about our veteran recruitment efforts, visit our careers page.