Offering veterans pathway to better career

When you’re on active duty, your main focus is accomplishing your mission. Upon returning to civilian life, there are many choices to make and paths to choose.

For U.S. military veterans Michael DeOssie and Gregory Henry, PSEG is more than where they work. It’s also a career that offers a path to higher education that, in turn, can help them shape and secure their futures.

A U.S. Navy veteran, DeOssie is a nuclear shift supervisor in the control room at PSEG’s Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lower Alloways Creek in southern New Jersey.

“Many service members are much like myself and will have a family and financial responsibilities that require them to focus on working first while letting higher education sit on the back burner upon separation,” said DeOssie, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Studies at Thomas Edison State University (TESU).

Henry is a PSE&G Energy Strong Utility Mechanic in the Orange Gas District in northeastern New Jersey, where he installs, services, maintains, troubleshoots and repairs or replaces gas systems. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

For Henry, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology also at TESU, finishing his degree is about positioning for professional advancement.

“I am determined to finish ventures that I start,” said Henry, who completed his Associate in Applied Science from the university in 2010. “Completing my bachelor’s degree will increase my career worth and allow me to be more marketable.”

Both are taking advantage of PSEG’s longstanding partnership with TESU and PSEG’s generous tuition assistance benefits to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

Since 2009, PSEG has been one of the university’s Corporate Choice® partners – a designation that allows PSEG employees to earn credit for their military and PSEG training, and maximize the company’s generous tuition reimbursement benefit, to complete their college degrees.

PSEG has funded several veteran-focused initiatives, including TESU’s Military and Veteran Portal, which allows active-duty service members and veterans to learn how their military training can be applied as credit toward a degree.  Recently, the PSEG Foundation also contributed $200,000 to support the university’s career-enhancement initiative, which provides career advising and job placement resources for veterans and active-duty personnel.

“Our country’s veterans and active military professionals are exceptional leaders and trained professionals that add tremendous value to our workforce,” said Barb Short, PSEG Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship and Culture. “As a company of colleagues dedicated to service and operational excellence, we’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Thomas Edison State University and support the university’s career initiatives dedicated to service members and veterans.”

Providing student veterans with the right tools can help to alleviate the pressures of their transition to civilian life.

Alvaro Rodriguez, who served in the U.S. Army National Guard, said the portal helps veterans make informed decisions.

“When military members separate, they need to know there are opportunities available to them,” said Rodriguez, a student in the university’s Associate in Applied Science program. “Through the use of the Military and Veteran Portal, they can explore these options and make an informed decision about their next steps.”

“Going back to school as an adult can be intimidating,” DeOssie said. “The realistic advice is it’s never too late to start.”

Learn more about the University’s MVP Portal at mvp.tesu.edu.

Learn more about PSEG’s partnership with Thomas Edison State University at www.tesu.edu/pseg.