Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Industry Spotlight: Power Generation


It is well known that the power industry workforce, from technicians to engineers to linemen to maintenance crews, will be retiring in record-breaking numbers throughout the next ten years. Barry Pulskamp, a Vice President at Duke Energy Company, told the University of Cincinnati that over 30 percent of his workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years and 50 percent will be eligible to retire within the next ten years. Deregulation of the power industry and cost-cutting measures in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as a generation of students encouraged to pursue ‘greener’ career paths, have all contributed to the unprecedented employment shortfall facing energy and power generation companies throughout the country.

“Each month we place veterans into power generation,” stated Larry Cummings, an Orion technical recruiting manager and partner, and 30-year retired US Navy Command Master Chief. “Candidates from the Navy Nuke program, gas turbine electricians, all varieties of electronic technicians, mechanics, hydraulic and pneumatic technicians have well documented skill sets that translate very readily into what our power companies are looking for.”



Nelson Ciprian is a Nuclear-Trained, Surface Warfare Qualified Electronics Technician who separated from the Navy in February 2009. He is now an Instrumentation and Controls Equipment Maintenance Tech, maintaining electronics and electrical equipment to support power plant operations. “In the Navy, I was a Nuke ET, responsible for the Instrumentation and Control equipment to support reactor and propulsion plant operation, “ says Ciprian of the correlation between his military and civilian careers, “The only thing that has changed is the heat source, and the fact that I work with newer technology. But the fundamentals are the same.”


Former Military are uniquely suited for in Power Generation in the following roles:

Operations
o Control Room Supervisors
o Senior Reactor Operators
o Auxiliary Operators
o System Operators

Engineering
o Nuclear Engineers
o Chemical Engineers
o Electrical Engineers
o Mechanical Engineers
o BOP and Reactor Engineers

Support
o Supply Chain/Logistics
o Fleet Management
o Chemistry Lab Technicians
o Environmental Health & Safety Managers
o Human Resources
o Training Managers & Instructors
o Finance
o Information Technology

Maintenance
o Turbine Maintenance Technicians
o Industrial Electricians & Mechanics
o Instrument & Controls Technicians
o UPS System Technicians
o Boiler Overhaul & Repair


Both veterans and employers are realizing the seamless transferability of skills and proficiencies between the Military and Power Generation, and veterans just may be the answer to the employment shortfall facing this industry.

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