Company supports veterans through various programs
Navy Veteran and PPL IT worker Rob Lessard will celebrate Veterans Day this year like he always does – by exchanging stories with fellow veterans about military experiences and by reflecting on the lives of those who didn’t make it back home.
He’ll do this with friends, family members and veterans he’ll meet at events for the first time. He doesn’t call that last group strangers, though – just veterans he doesn’t yet know.
“There is an inherent familiarity that exists between veterans,” Lessard explained. “Even though they may have never met, no two veterans are ever strangers no matter the branch, age or time of service.”
Lessard, a PPL Electric Utilities senior technology translator and the president of the PPL business resource group PPLVETS, said veterans are bonded through their service. They tend to share similar qualities: loyalty, leadership, strong work ethic, resiliency and adaptability.
Those qualities are also what makes veterans attractive to PPL – a company that has earned a reputation for supporting and providing career opportunities for veterans.
“At PPL, we have many services internally for veterans, including a new veteran sponsorship program for new hires, a peer-to-peer support group and a partnership with the Women Veterans Empowered and Thriving group to provide bimonthly local support groups and workshops,” Lessard said. “We provide our veterans with an extensive list of resources and events to help them thrive and stay connected to the veteran community.”
Lessard said PPL also works hard to support active reservists through peer-to-peer support to help them transition between active duty and their jobs at PPL.
PPLVETS holds several events to strengthen the veteran community. In October, PPLVETS organized a bus trip to view several military monuments in Washington D.C., including the Iwo Jima, World War II, Lincoln and Vietnam memorials. Through the Lehigh Valley Veterans Project, PPLVETS invited local veterans to the event and about 50 veterans attended.
“We had representation from all major military branches,” Lessard said. “We also had many generations of military operations, including the Gulf War, the Korean War, Vietnam and even World War II.”
The event ended with a large dinner.
“We finished the meal with our stomachs and hearts full,” Lessard said.
Lessard is one of more than 340 veterans helping to drive PPL’s continued success.
“We are honored to work alongside all our veterans,” said Vincent Sorgi, PPL’s president and chief operating officer. “Their values, skills and experience make us stronger as a company. We thank them for their service to our country, and we appreciate the difference they make for our customers each and every day.”
PPL has established business resource groups in both Pennsylvania and Kentucky dedicated to supporting military veterans. In addition, PPL’s Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities subsidiaries are 2019 recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. Department of Defense to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.