By Janese Murray, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Exelon
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 71 percent of U.S. military veterans in the private sector workforce reported having a service-related disability in 2011. Historically, people with disabilities, veterans included, have been much less likely to be employed.
We work to cultivate a diverse workforce; that includes hiring and successfully integrating military veterans regardless of service-related disability. Our veteran employees bring expertise in engineering, operations, and security, qualities that are well-suited to the energy business. Moreover, we value veterans’ leadership skills, teamwork, integrity, and commitment to excellence.
Through the efforts of our Talent Acquisition team, in 2012 Exelon hired 198 veterans, a number of whom self-identified as having disabilities. And in the first quarter of 2013, Exelon hired another seventy-four military veteran employees—representing 14 percent of the company’s new hires in this period. This represents a nearly 35 percent increase over the same period last year, and aligns with our support for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative. The goal of the initiative is to make military personnel 10 percent of new hires over two years.
To proactively include military veterans, Exelon in 2009 established Exelon Militaries Actively Connected (EMAC), an employee-led resource group for veterans, military supporters, and employees who serve in reserve units. The group advocates for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of veterans regardless of disability. It is Exelon’s fastest-growing employee resource group, with more than 600 members in Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
EMAC also works with outside organizations to assist with members’ development. For example, we have successfully partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project. And EMAC regularly attends career fairs in partnership with government and military-specific agencies to recruit veterans.
Our veterans and advocates give back to the community too. In 2012, our Baltimore employees held several item-collection drives to benefit VA hospitals across the country. Since last summer, they have teamed up with a local group home for men, The Baltimore Station, to serve free dinners and provide company to the organization’s residents, most of whom are veterans.
Like all our employees, Exelon’s veterans are vital to the success of our business. In nurturing their career potential, we better guarantee Exelon’s long-term success.