"Learn As Much As Possible"
Exelon Corporation’s companies participate in every stage of the energy business, from generation to power sales to transmission to delivery. Exelon has more than 32,000 megawatts of owned generating capacity, with operations and business activities nationwide. Its Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to more than 2.5 million residential, public sector, and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 7.8 million customers in central Maryland (Baltimore Gas and Electric Company), northern Illinois (Commonwealth Edison Company), and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO Energy Company). Exelon’s headquarters are in Chicago.
From engineering to operations to security, there are opportunities for veterans throughout the Exelon family of companies. Exelon recruits and works to retain individuals who have military experience because they possess traits that match its core values: dedication to safety, active pursuit of excellence, innovation, integrity and accountability, and diversity and inclusion. Exelon values veterans’ leadership, management, and critical thinking skills as well as their ability to adapt easily and quickly.
A VETEAN SUCCESS | ART CHAVEZ
Art Chavez spent six years in the United States Marine Corps before separating as a sergeant. He served as a 2841 ground radio repairman, cross-trained in aviation radio repair. He handled troubleshooting, repair, and calibration testing; and he trained and directed personnel.
At Exelon, Chavez is a senior application analyst for asset information and systems policy. He provides technical, analytical, and governance support for computer applications – including management of software upgrades, policies, procedures, and programs. He also provides guidance and oversight as a subject-matter expert for the field crew dispatch system, customer outage management system, and the company GPS point data files.
Since joining Exelon in 1999, Chavez has played a role in supporting employees with military service and recruiting others. “As president of our military employee affinity group -- Exelon Militaries Actively Connected, or EMAC -- I have provided assistance with many of our veteran initiatives,” he said. “Our work has had a positive impact on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of veterans at Exelon, and I am committed to recognizing our military veteran employees. Examples include creating Walls of Honors bearing the name and branches of service of our employees across the company and hosting celebratory events during patriotic holidays, such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, and Independence Day. I also coordinate a company-wide lapel pin program that provides a letter of gratitude from our executives along with a patriotic pin to each of our 4,500 veterans across Exelon.”
A lot of what Chavez learned in the Marine Corps is still helping him today. “Leadership and discipline along with my work ethic have proven to be extremely valuable to my success in the civilian work force,” he said. “The principles of safety, integrity, and respect instilled in all military veterans provided me with the opportunity to be a great fit in a variety of departments here at Exelon.”
He encourages servicemembers to take advantage of every educational opportunity. “My advice to anyone performing the same job I did in the military is to learn as much as possible,” he said. “Not only within the technical field, but also in the leadership and project management opportunities that come with the position, as this will help you in any field and is highly sought out by all major corporations. The technical skill sets I learned in my military job helped me build a strong foundation for my civilian job, and the leadership skills I gained from the military helped me thrive in my daily professional and personal duties.”
Chavez learned to work well with a diverse group of people in the military, and that experience is also paying off at Exelon. “In the military, I learned that embracing diversity is an essential key to success as it provides a gateway to improvement through innovation,” he said. “Diversity here at Exelon goes way above ethnicity and gender. It expands into the inclusion of diverse experience and thought, which is invaluable to any first-class industry.”
Chavez said that Exelon is a great place for veterans because it understands the value of those who have served. “We value the leadership and strong work ethic that military employees bring to our company,” he said. “For the last few years, over 10 percent of our new hires have had military service. Exelon actively seeks strong candidates by attending military career fairs and hosts workshops regularly to help veterans transition into the civilian work force by proactively helping them with networking skills, interview techniques, and resume advice.”
Chavez encourages servicemembers who are thinking about getting out of the military to start making connections. “Network as much as you can and wherever you can,” he said. “There are many corporations who want and need veterans to help lead them into the future. Also join your local military organizations, such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Marine Corps League. These organizations often serve as ambassadors for corporations with military initiatives, and they can help connect you with potential job opportunities. Not only are they are a great resource to you, but you can help other veterans and the community at the same time.”
When it comes time to apply for jobs, Chavez encourages veterans to make sure they mention their leadership skills. “Review your resume and translate your skill sets into civilian friendly terminology,” he said. “Not only should you list your technical skills, but also definitely highlight your leadership and management values.”
This article appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of Search & Employ Magazine