Chesapeake Energy says it has hired more than 600 veterans to fill high-paying jobs in the oil and natural gas industry through its 2012 military hiring initiative.
"Creating American jobs and hiring veterans to work in our oil and gas fields and in our offices has become central to our recruiting strategy," said Martha Burger, Chesapeake senior vice president of human and corporate resources. "Veterans perform well in our industry and share our company's commitment to energy independence. We hope to honor their talent, experience and military service with rewarding careers, while easing their transition to civilian life."
The team of recruiters that leads Chesapeake's military hiring initiative focuses most of its efforts on job fairs held on military bases and offers veterans direct access to recruiters through a veterans-only e-mail address, the company said.
Of the more than 600 veterans hired this year, many filled positions in the field: Performance Technologies, a Chesapeake affiliate, recruited veterans to make up more than 30 percent of its 2012 new hires. Veterans also filled one in five Chesapeake operating jobs in 2012.
Mike Hostetler joined Chesapeake in January as a field engineer after serving six years of active duty in the Air Force. Working out of Chesapeake's Canton office eased Hostetler's transition to civilian life.
"Chesapeake's core values reflect many of my own personal and professional values," Hostetler said in a release issued by the company. "There are plenty of companies that appear to shy away from hiring veterans, claiming that our skill sets aren't easily translatable. Fortunately, Chesapeake sees service members as we are; unpretentious leaders, attentive professionals and people that get the job done. The company not only recognizes the value of my active duty military experience, but also provides opportunities to enhance that experience in a challenging and rewarding industry."
The company said its support for veterans goes beyond hiring. In 2012, the company created a Troop Connect program to provide resources and networking opportunities to veterans within Chesapeake.
"As we hired more veterans, we came to realize the value that they gain by having a way to connect with each other. Through Chesapeake's Troop Connect program, we are able to provide an avenue for our veterans and their families to share common experiences and form a strong community," Burger said.
Chesapeake will honor its more than 1,200 military employees on Veteran's Day by issuing commemorative challenge coins to each veteran. Military service personnel also will receive a letter of gratitude from Chesapeake's CEO, a pin and a hard hat sticker.
Chesapeake offices, including Canton, will host special receptions for their local employees who are veterans.
In addition to internal veteran support, members of Chesapeake's military relations team work to prepare all veterans for the work force. Chesapeake partners with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes program and serves on the national Veteran Employment Advisory Council. Through these initiatives, the company encourages its vendors to hire veterans. The company also supports disabled veterans by conducting regional presentations about transitioning into the workplace; is an active participant in the Yellow Ribbon reintegration program focused on National Guard members; and is a member of the White House's Joining Forces program.