Veterans and their spouses are finding placement in utility jobs thanks to AVIVV’s Impact Now program. As a partner with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) SkillBridge program, AVIVV works to provide internships for transitioning veterans to prepare them for a career in the energy industry.
AVIVV is intentional in its veteran and military spouse hiring. “It is our way to support those who have served, and we believe they are the ideal candidate for the power industry’s high-wire work,” explained AVIVV CEO Erica Beal. “These are people who are accustomed to high-pressure engagements, and I know I can count on them to get the job done every time.”
AVIVV is a San Diego-based firm that offers program, construction and material management and general contracting services for water, gas, electrical, distribution and transmission sectors. Founded in 2019 by CEO Erica Beal, AVIVV is a woman- and minority-owned national service provider.
In its first year, AVIVV has built an impressive customer list: San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), International Line Builders (ILB), and Atlantic City Electric (ACE), to name a few.
The inspiration for Impact Now was born from Beal’s experience as the wife of a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL. She understands firsthand the challenges of military spouses seeking to advance their careers. AVIVV’s Impact Now program offers veterans and their spouses a roadmap to transition successfully into civilian careers.
“We incorporate mentoring, training, succession planning, and advocacy to ensure that every one of our veteran employees has a career with AVIVV,” Beal says.
A sterling example of the company’s commitment to veterans and military spouses is Rachael Medlin, Impact Now’s program executive, and an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
Medlin earned her law degree from the California Western School of Law. She also earned her project management professional (PMP) and nonprofit management certification from the University of San Diego. She accomplished these professional milestones while married to an active-duty service member and raising two children.
“It’s exhilarating to shape this program from the inside out and share my experiences and background,” Medlin said. “The idea that we help train military spouses and transitioning service members and offer a rewarding career at AVIVV in the utility industry is so fulfilling.”
Another veteran, Ed Curley, served 24 years as a Naval officer before joining AVIVV. His experience and leadership in such positions as chief engineer for the Guided Missile Destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) and landing craft officer for Assault Craft Unit One taught him how to lead and work in dynamic situations. Now, he’s AVIVV’s program manager supporting SDG&E’s design construction management substation unit.
While accustomed to working in high-pressure situations, he knows the challenge of having business leaders recognize his unique skills and talents. “Shooting weapons off a ship and offloading tanks from a beached landing craft doesn’t necessarily translate as relevant work experience in the utility sector,” said Curley.
Curley interned through the DoD SkillBridge program. He gained substantial experience by meeting industry experts, shadowing field experts, and learning energy
policies, procedures and regulations. He was able to combine what he learned during his service to the utility industry, and, at the end of a six-month internship, Curley landed a full-time position with AVIVV.
“With the industry experience I gained through Skillbridge, I immediately began working with leaders on industry-changing projects,” Curley said. “I would not have
been ready for these challenges without SkillBridge and companies like AVIVV’s Impact Now program to make the military-to-civilian transition.”
Based on the initial success of Impact Now with hires like Medlin and Curley, AVIVV intends to expand the program in 2021 by identifying new strategic partners to collaborate and positively impact the veteran community. For more information about AVIVV and Impact Now, please visit www.avivvllc.com/social-responsibility.
About 10% of San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) workforce are veterans, working in wide-ranging areas from construction and emergency management to meteorology. San Diego has the nation’s largest military personnel concentration, and military facilities are among SDG&E’s largest customers.
SDG&E participates in the national Troops to Energy Jobs program (troopstoenergyjobs.com) and established several veterans initiatives on its own, including a veterans internship program and an employee resource program called VALOR to help veterans integrate into its company culture.
“Our company has a rich history of hiring veterans and helping them make successful transitions to civilian careers,” explained SDG&E Diversity and Inclusion Director Margaret Carter. “We recognize the sacrifices they have made for our country, and we appreciate the leadership skills, discipline and dedication they possess to get the job done and done well.”
SDG&E’s recruiters also participate in job fairs explicitly hosted for veterans and their spouses. The company’s support of veterans is part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion.