Georgia Power and its sibling utilities across the Southern Co. are making a concerted effort to hire veterans.

For Georgia Power’s Northwest Georgia Regional Director Cassandra Wheeler, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, it’s almost like a personal crusade.

“My training was 10 months long, at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado,” Wheeler said. “My specialty was B-1 bomber avionics technician.”

From there she went to Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. She was one of only three women and three African Americans in the shop.

The country was not at war but there was a lot of testing and repair work.

“There was a lot of on-the-job training and the practicality of it all is very real on aircraft equipment,” Wheeler said. “You don’t want to get it wrong.”

That kind of military background is one of the primary reasons that both Georgia Power and the Southern Co. make a concerted effort to recruit veterans.

The Southern Company has been recognized by Military Times and its Best for Vets campaign for 11 consecutive years and last year ranked as its No. 2 corporate employer in the nation.

Wheeler said that when you consider facilities like Plant Vogtle, the nuclear plant near Waynesboro, one third of the employees at Units Three and Four there are veterans.

“Veterans from the Navy are great nuclear employees because of their training,” Wheeler said.

The company has a variety of programs and actively reaches out to the military to match veterans who are leaving the service to jobs with the utility.

The company offers something akin to an internship for separating military personnel.

“We get an opportunity to see if the veteran is a good match for the job with their particular skill set and they get to see if we’re a good match for them,” Wheeler said.

Last year almost 13% of the new hires were veterans across all military services. Close to 20% of external hires into leadership positions were veterans.

“I’ve worked with a couple of Marines and they are special people,” Wheeler said.

Her leadership team across Northwest Georgia includes numerous veterans.

“I would say there have been upwards of 25 people, and that’s a lot for our Northwest region.” Wheeler said.

Veterans interested in pursuing a career opportunity with Georgia Power should visit their parent company’s website online at SouthernCompany-veterans.jobs.

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