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Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Positive Veterans Day Story: Partnering With a Workplace That Cares About Veterans

by Cari Roberts
Everyone has a story. Sometimes we just need to be given a safe place to tell it. In partnership with the Library of Congress, the Red Cross is working to collect as many stories as possible for the Veterans History Project and connect with veterans across Colorado and Wyoming to record their personal histories for the project.

David Eves, President of PSCo (L) and Red Cross volunteer Ken Yaphe
That outreach to local veterans is paving the way for additional partnerships as well, like a recent visit with Xcel Energy in Denver for a Veterans Day event. Ming-Wa Hu, a veteran of the U.S. Army himself, organized the event, bringing veterans and coworkers together to thank them for their service to the country and Xcel as well as to share information about the Veterans History Project.
During the event David Eves, the President of Public Service Company Colorado (PSCo, an Xcel Energy company), presented a Challenge Coin to Red Cross volunteer Ken Yaphe for his work with the Veterans History Project and to encourage current and future employees that have served to participate in the interviews and to share their stories. Mr. Eves has also made sure that Xcel provides space and time for their employees to be interviewed for the project on site, at work, on company time.

26 Veterans attended the presentation on Veterans Day.
Xcel’s President & CEO Ben Fowke also relayed a message of thanks to veterans and shared an exciting new goal for Xcel’s future. Mr. Fowke has set a company-wide goal that at least 10% of all Xcel employees be veterans -- that is one in every ten. Lacey Golonka is Xcel’s veterans recruiter and an active Army Reservist with a number of deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. She spends much of her time on the road seeking the best and the brightest to fill openings at the energy company. “We need everyone from administrative assistants to engineers,” said Golonka. “Veterans come to us with a wide variety of skills, training, and experience that are valuable to a company like ours.”

Companies like Xcel, who are dedicating resources to hiring as many veterans as possible as they return from their service, understand that everyone has a story. They also understand the value of helping our veterans continue their stories with meaningful, challenging careers. The Red Cross appreciates the partnership with Xcel and their dedication to helping veterans in Colorado and Wyoming continue to write their stories.

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