Without the talents and the contributions of the military and veterans, our region would be a very different place economically, culturally and in many other ways.
The same can be said about our company because veterans make up about eight percent of our workforce. As we celebrate Veterans Appreciation Month at SDG&E in March, we are reaffirming our commitment to support the military through our philanthropic initiatives, as well as through our Veterans Internship Program.
This annual internship program matches veterans based on their professional and educational background to mentors within our company for six weeks of work experience and professional development. Since its introduction in 2017, the program has given almost 40 veterans the opportunity to intern in a variety of fields at SDG&E, including community relations, employee communications, legislative affairs, accounting, human resources, customer service, electric operations, and gas distribution.
“We are dedicated to attracting, recruiting and retaining veteran talent. We value the unique experience, training and leadership they bring,” said SDG&E Chief Human Resources and Chief Administrative Officer Randy Clark. “When it comes to increasing diversity and inclusion, it is a commitment that never ends.”
What the Interns Learned
Navy veteran Liz Greenwood interned with Employee Communications at SDG&E and left feeling more confident about her capabilities. “I’ve learned things I never would’ve learned in school through the work I’ve done here,” she said.
She was particularly appreciative of the resume and interview workshop offered by our Human Resource Department. She described it as a “huge confidence booster” because she received “genuine feedback from a lot of different perspectives.”
Another intern, Mari Velazquez, worked with a project planner design team. She was inspired by the hands-on experience of working in the field with the design team, and she echoed Greenwood’s surprise at how much she learned in just over a month.
“I didn’t expect to learn so much in such a short period of time!” Velazquez said. “I am so grateful to have had this opportunity because it has opened my eyes to a field I never even knew existed and now have a great interest in.”
Helping Veterans Grow Professionally & Discover New Passions
It’s stories like these that make the program so rewarding for Human Resources Coordinator Angela Tye.
Tye’s favorite moment during this year’s Veterans Internship Program occurred when one of the interns let her know how much her perception of SDG&E and careers in the utility industry had changed over the course of her internship. During her time here, the intern discovered her love for public affairs and is now pursuing a career in that field!
This is what SDG&E’s Veterans Internship Program is all about - exposing veterans to career opportunities while helping them grow professionally, and sometimes, even discover new passions.
Supporting Veterans Through Charitable Initiatives
SDG&E, our parent company, Sempra Energy, as well as our employees, support military organizations and causes throughout the year. We have a long-standing partnership with the Armed Forces YMCA, for example, and support holiday toy drives that benefit military families.
Every year, many of our employees also participate in the Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk (now in its 33rd year) to help raise money to benefit fitness, recreation and other programs for 500,000 plus active duty, retired military, reservists, their family and civilian employees who make up the San Diego military family.