First Ever Veteran Group Graduates From VEEP Program

Congratulations to Our Newest Apprentices

Before a roomful of family and friends, IBEW 11 welcomed its first VEEP graduating class of former military members to the IBEW family. “Congratulations!” noted IBEW 11 Business Manager Joël Barton at the graduation ceremony at the ETI on Dec. 2. “People leaving the military need good jobs, and we need them.”

VEEP, or Veterans Electrical Entry Program, is a national alliance of the IBEW, the Electrical Training Alliance and NECA. The coalition works closely with the military to bring personnel ready to discharge from the various services into the IBEW, training them along the way. “You have protected our country. We owe it to you to provide good careers for you. You have shown through your commitment and your service to your country that you make great employees,” Barton said to the dozen new graduates who will now be folding into IBEW 11’s regular apprentice program.

“You’re a great fit for this industry. It’s a career, not a job,” noted Jim Wilson, head of LA NECA. “Now is a great time to come into the industry – there are so many opportunities with the current energy revolution,” he added.

The VEEP program begins while the team is still in the military, training them for the six weeks while they’re on base, then three more weeks at the ETI.
State Senator Bob Archuleta, chair of the California Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, and a proud veteran himself, keynoted the graduation ceremony. “We love our veterans. You show up on time, understand the regulations, and are sharp to recognize a good opportunity to change your lives.” Certain industries like energy and hydrogen are growing by leaps and bounds, he said. “We need you in those industries right now.”

Archuleta thanked IBEW 11 for its leadership and vision in taking the program to the next level. “It’s a family you’re joining. We’ll keep you on the path of growth and excellence.”

Noting that this is the first graduating class of its kind, Archuleta said he is working with the group to expand the program and “help develop talented young men and women for the future.”

Congratulations to the following graduates: Sean Bishop, Marines; Frank Cisneros, Marines; Consuelo Guerrero, Air Force; Jose Mancilla, Marines; William Moreno-Gonzalez, Marines; Corwin Nau, Navy; Khemet Osborne, Army; Robert Puanglarplai, Army; Gabriel Riutcel, Army; Newton Shunk, Marines; Nathan Wood, Army; and Travis Young, Army.

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