According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, more than 200,000 people in the military transition to civilian life each year. With everyone needing power, the association is connecting those military men and women to the workforce.

For some military veterans, going back to normal life can be a challenge. Former Army National Guard member, Josh Schaffner, knows a little bit about that.

“I decided I wanted to get out. So after about 13 1/2 years I didn’t reenlist,” said Schaffner.

Now a manager at Capital Electric, Schaffner says he was lucky to find a job after separating from the military — but not everyone is.

“It’s all very daunting and it can be aggravating to deal with,” said Brett Wold, with Job Service ND.

But a nation-wide campaign is making it a little easier. It’s called the “Vets Power Us” initiative.

Since its launch in 2016, the program has grown to 160 electric co-ops, with three right here in the Peace Garden State. The organization pairs veterans, who may be exploring careers in engineering, cybersecurity and grid operations, with co-ops in need.

“When I was hired, it was kind of a bonus for me to have that in my background. The person hiring me looked on that as a positive,” added Schaffner.

Wold says this is just one of the many great programs out there working to get our military men and women hired.

“They all do great things for our veterans and employers. I mean we’re filling jobs with highly skilled individuals and we just need to give them an extra set of tools to put in their toolbox,” said Wold.

Individuals who once served their country, and are now trying to serve their community.

Here are some resources:

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