The Courage to Step Up
SPECTRA ENERGY CORPORATION
Spectra Energy Corporation is a pipeline and midstream company with operations is the United States and Canada. The company has more than 22,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil pipelines; about 305 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage; 4.8 million barrels of crude oil storage; and natural gas gathering, processing, and local distribution operations. Spectra Energy has served North American customers and communities for more than a century. It is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Houston.
With major pipeline and system expansions underway, the company is looking for employees, especially in the areas of engineering and construction, supply chain, and operations/plants/trades.
Amy Grace, Spectra Energy’s general manager of talent management, believes veterans can both add value and further their careers at the company. “Spectra Energy is proud to employ a significant number of veterans and reservists,” she said. “We value veterans’ service to our country, and appreciate the skills and training they bring to our team. Their experience aligns with opportunities across the organization, including roles such as technician (corrosion, electrical/controls, measurement), operator, mechanic, equipment operator, engineer, and many more.”
A VETERAN SUCCESS | SPENCER WALKER
Before joining Spectra Energy nearly three years ago, Spencer Walker spent 17 years in the United States Navy, serving as a second-class petty officer and an electrician on an aircraft carrier. He serviced elevators and catapult and recovery equipment. At Spectra Energy, he is an electrical and controls technician. “I maintain controls for the turbines and pumps we have at the Hanover Compressor Station in New Jersey,” he said.
The safety training he received in the military benefits Walker at Spectra Energy. “Like the military, Spectra Energy puts the safety of its personnel first,” he said. “My military electrician background allowed me to take the job here with little re-training. I chose Spectra Energy because its code of ethics and values are similar to the military’s code of conduct and principles of honor, courage, commitment and integrity."
Walker encourages veterans to take chances when they leave the military. “If it comes time to leave the military, don’t be afraid,” he said. “Have the courage to step up and do something different. Don’t get discouraged if you hit a lot of walls. You just have to jump those hurdles one at a time. When you are considering a job, look at the whole package: salary, benefits, time off, community involvement, and your potential to grow with the company.”
His technical skills captured potential employers’ attention in his job search, but he says it takes more than that to stand out. “My technical skills as an electrician opened up a lot of doors when I left the military,” he said. “Then, my can-do attitude from the military helped me stand apart. In the military, I was thrown into positions whether I had the experience or not. Learning to make it work gave me the confidence that I can take a job that’s bigger than me and taught me to be flexible and resourceful.”
Challenges and camaraderie are two reasons Walker enjoys working at Spectra Energy. “I’ve enjoyed working here,” he said. “ I love being challenged, and there is always something different to learn and do. I also get to work with a lot of different people. The camaraderie at Spectra Energy is much like the military. The company looks out for employees on and off the job. We’ve set the bar high on safety.”
Amy Grace added that Spectra Energy supports veterans in other ways, too. “We are always looking to support our servicemen and -women who give so much to us. If we can play a part in their transition to civilian life, we want to do it,” Grace continued. “We focused our 2014 United Way campaign in Houston on the United Way Veterans Initiative, which connects veterans with community services to address challenges they may be facing. Also, through our Matching Gifts Program, each employee’s contributions to qualified veterans’ organizations are matched dollar for dollar until they reach program limits.”