According to the federal government, the unemployment rate for veterans who served after 9-11 is about two percent higher than the national average. To help vets with job placement, Pacific Gas and Electric and American River College created a class for pre-apprentice utility workers.
Matt Ramey is one of 25 who were accepted into the program. He hit the poles at the SMUD training center with safety harnesses, spiked boots, and a willingness to learn.
RAMEY: "Having a program like this is great because we have a lot of skill sets as veterans that the public aren't aware of. So, being able to come out and put those to work is a great opportunity for us and get us out on the jobs and working outside doing a lot of the labor and stuff we like to do."
400 veterans applied to get into the eight week program.
The utilities hope these classes can fill future vacancies. PG&E could lose 40% of its employees to retirement within the next five years.