Special to The Sun
G.I. Jobs magazine has named Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) a 2013 Top 100 Military Friendly Employer, ranking the energy company 43rd out of 100 companies. This is Chesapeake’s third year on the list and its highest ranking. The honor recognizes Chesapeake’s continued progress in both hiring veterans and supporting them in the workforce. In 2012, Chesapeake created a military hiring initiative and hired more than 600 veterans for high-paying, quality jobs in the oil and natural gas industry.
On Monday, Chesapeake honored each of its more than 1,200 military employees with a commemorative challenge coin, letter of gratitude from Chesapeake’s CEO, pin and hard hat sticker. Chesapeake offices across the country also had special ceremonies for their local employees who are veterans.
“Chesapeake is an American company that is a top producer of American oil and natural gas. 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 in Human & 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 email address.
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.
Erik Friend joined Chesapeake’s Oklahoma City headquarters in February after serving 12 years in the Army. His position at Chesapeake was his first full-time employment after service and he admits that finding a civilian job can be a challenge for former military personnel.
“For some veterans, there is little translation between what we did in the military and what we will do for our careers post-service,” Friend said. “In the Army I worked on electronics, but in school I studied math. I was lucky to find an accounting position at Chesapeake where I feel like I accomplish something every day and I am proud of my work. Like the military, I have found that Chesapeake wants to develop me as a leader and position me for a successful career within our industry.”
At Chesapeake, 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.
In addition to internal veteran support, members of Chesapeake’s military relations team work to prepare all veterans for the workforce. 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.
FOR MORE information or to view available jobs, visit www.chk.com/careers. Veterans may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org.