American Petroleum Institute's Vets4Energy campaign has launched an initiative to help veterans connect with companies in the oil and natural gas industry.
Vets can use the new Veterans Energy Pipeline website to translate their job skills from the military into the oil and gas industry. For example, you select your branch of service and your military occupation, and the website will show you which civilian jobs are similar. Employers can also use the site to find veterans with the skills they're seeking.
Don Loren, retired rear admiral and the national liaison for Vets4Energy, said the group aims to spur discussion about energy policies, which are linked to national security. He said a significant element of national security is veteran employment.
"What better way to promote a sound oil and natural gas energy industry than to incorporate these skills and experiences into that environment," Loren said.
With the United States and other countries trying to move away from fossil fuels, however, there are concerns over whether this is a secure industry for veterans in years to come.
"I know there's a lot of conversation taking place out there right now," said Jack Gerard, API president and CEO. "By 2040, 2050, 60 percent of the energy the U.S. uses will be oil and natural gas.
"If you want a long-term opportunity in an industry, look at these industries that are fundamentally the backbone of our society," he said.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said he believes in solar and wind power but that there's not enough of those available.
"We'd still like to find the fuel of the future, but it's just not there yet," he said.
Loren encouraged veterans to send feedback if they couldn't find jobs that incorporated their skills on the site.