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Xcel Energy seeks veterans to strengthen workforce

AMARILLO, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - The following is a news release from Xcel Energy:

Generating electricity and shipping it at the speed of light over thousands of miles of wire requires a cohesive workforce of highly trained individuals. And as Xcel Energy shapes its future workforce, military veterans are playing an ever larger role.

“The military is a great training ground for the types of jobs we offer at Xcel Energy, and it is in our best interest to capitalize on the investment our nation has made in our military veterans as they continue their service to our area communities,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy - New Mexico, Texas.

The company has committed to a goal of ensuring veterans make up at least 10 percent of all new hires as it seeks to fill the shoes of workers who are moving in greater numbers toward retirement. Year to date, that percentage stands at 10.2 percent, and two years ago it exceeded 14 percent. Currently, 9.8 percent of all Xcel Energy employees are veterans of the military.

Xcel Energy employs a full-time recruiter who works with veterans on career coaching and resume assistance. The company engages in military-specific marketing and communications efforts and participates in more than 35 job fairs that specifically target military veterans and active reservists throughout its New Mexico and Texas service territory.

Additionally, veterans who come on as apprentices in Xcel Energy’s substation and line departments can use G.I. Bill benefits to help them purchase tools and equipment for their job, as well as supplement their income up to the journeyman level, Hudson said.

These efforts and benefits have led Military Times to name the company “Best for Vets,” and G.I. Jobs magazine has recognized Xcel Energy as a “Military Friendly Employer” for eight years.

Veteran support at Xcel Energy extends to the company’s retention efforts. Heather Hancock, who works with the company’s property services team in Amarillo, volunteers her time with a company-sponsored organization known as MOVE, or Military Ombudsmen for Veterans and Employees. Established in 2012, MOVE provides opportunities for veteran employees to get involved in the community through efforts such as placing flags at cemeteries on Memorial Day and serving food for send-off and welcome-home events for the Texas Panhandle Honor Flight.

“Retaining these employees is a top priority, and we hope that by providing them ways to be involved and by recognizing their achievements, they will serve our company and our communities for many years to come,” Hancock said.

Every year on or near Veterans Day, MOVE invites veterans to recognition events where company officials present them with a challenge coin as a token of Xcel Energy’s appreciation for not only their service to their country, but also for their valuable service as Xcel Energy employees. This year, MOVE added a knowledge fair to its Veterans Day activities and invited representatives of several veteran groups in the Amarillo area to set up tables at Xcel Energy’s downtown Amarillo office. Groups such as the Veterans Resource Center and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provided information on benefits, healthcare, counseling and other services.

In addition to its efforts to hire and retain veteran employees, Xcel Energy does business with more than 140 veteran entrepreneurs. The company has received an award from the National Association of Veteran Business Owners for having one of the best supplier diversity programs for veteran-owned businesses, and was featured in a recent issue of Vetrepreneur Magazine for this achievement.

Information on careers for veterans at Xcel Energy can be found online at www.xcelenergy.com at the Veterans page in the careers section.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

(News release from Xcel Energy)

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