We have an established business resource group called VET (Veteran Engagement Team). VET is one of Black Hills Energy’s strategic initiatives to recruit, retain, and advocate for military personnel and veterans. Our guiding principles are:
To reach our VET group with questions or for assistance, you can email us at [email protected].
Ready to serve, again. Black Hills Energy has a goal to be a workplace of choice for veterans, active service members, and military spouses. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including tuition assistance. You can learn more about all of our benefits here. Our military and veterans benefits include:
Test out the Veterans Job Matcher to find civilian career optionsLearn more
Check out great resources from the Department of LaborLearn more
Translate your skills and experience into promising energy jobsLearn more
This toolkit will help you plan for your next career stepDownload
Your military experience is welcomed and valued at Black Hills Energy! You’ll find that our mission focus – “Improving Lives with Energy” and being “Ready” – provides strong meaning and purpose to our work. You’ve served our country. Help us serve our communities – over 1 million customers who rely on us every day for reliable energy.
-Todd Jacobs, Vice President, Natural Gas Utilities, Executive Sponsor of VET (Business Resource Group), and Captain, US Army ’90-’97.”
Steven, Utility Construction Specialist
Served: March 2012 – 2014
Then: 13B (Cannon Crew Member) PV2, I was the Round Carrier and Loader for the M777A2
Now: Utility Construction Specialist for Montrose and Pagosa Springs Territory
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? What I learned in the military that helps me with my current position is patience, With the position I have I am dealing with customers and contractors who are not always understanding on what BHE needs or wants so with a little patience and understanding I can help explain what BHE is looking for without getting overwhelmed.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills Energy is a good fit for veterans because here at BHE we are a big Family and that is just like it was in the military.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Prepare yourself now for the future, try and take some classes now before you get out of the service, think about what you want to accomplish in the line of work you plan to be in and take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success.
Lorissa, Senior Strategic Sourcing Specialist, Supply Chain
Served: 30 Years
Then: 51C - Acquisition, Logistics & Technology (AL&T) Contracting NCO, CSM / E-9. Provided operational and contingency contracting support to deployed forces and Department of Defense agencies. Managed, performed, and administered contracting functions for commodities, services, and construction using simplified acquisition procedures, negotiation and other approved methods. Acted as a business advisor, buyer, negotiator, administrator, and contracting officer.
Now: Senior Strategic Sourcing Specialist. Source Capital Projects through sourcing and contracting processes, build efficiency in related processes, build relationships with suppliers and contractors, negotiate cost/pricing and contract terms, and develop agreements that ultimately help our company grow and become more profitable.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? My military experience instilled invaluable skills that civilian employers seek; leadership, supervisory, problem solving, and time management skill; operational, organizational, and logistical management; highly developed communication skill, conflict resolution, a great work ethic, and how to thrive on a team.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills Energy is focused on service to others. We work together as a team for mission accomplishment; our corporate goals. Our corporate values align with military values. Just like Warrior Ethos, Black Hills Energy demonstrates its values every day through their Code of Business Conduct.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Determine your crossover skills/talents and be able to translate your military education, skills, and experience to a civilian occupation. Know that many of the things you learned in your military career are transferable to a corporate setting. Develop a highly polished resume capitalizing on what you can offer a company. Finally, do your research and find a company you want to work for, and a position you will excel in.
Marc, Director of Gas Pipeline and System Integrity
Served: 2 years in the US Army and 4 years in the SDARNG
Then: 62J - A construction Equipment Operator in a Combat Support Unit (CSE)
Now: Director of Pipeline and System Integrity, within the Gas Engineering Service team.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? I believe my military experience helps me manage stressful timelines in critical situations to ultimately achieve our desired goals.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills Energy values a diverse workforce with values in line with military traditions.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Be proud of your service and look for an employer with an inclusive culture and great values.
Corey, Utility Construction Planner, Operations
Served: 21 Years
Then: (31B, SGT, Military Police)
Now: Utility Construction Planner, Design electric distribution and transmission systems and facilities per BHE standards and procedures.?
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? I have learned that you need to be 100% respectful and 100% honest in your communication with others. I was taught to know what is important and there’s always more to accomplish than time allows.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills Energy is a big supporting of our veterans and for the employees that are currently working for Black Hills Energy. They have gone above and beyond with great benefits just for veterans.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? The sooner you begin thinking about your future, the clearer this becomes.
Tamra, Accountant II, Corporate Accounting
Served: 4 years
Then: 31B Military Police, E-4 Specialist, performed security escorts, patrols, police training, and dispatch.
Now: Staff Accountant II, perform General Ledger accounting tasks and analysis
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? My time in the military instilled a sense of teamwork; which, has allowed me to work comfortably and cohesively with the rest of my department. It also enhanced my integrity, agility, and ethics. All of these are values of Black Hills Energy.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills Energy respects and cares for all of its employees and promotes teamwork. There are many duties/MOS’s from the military that correlate with job/career opportunities with Black Hills Energy. This will make transitioning from the military in civilian employment easier for veterans looking to stay in the same type of work.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about transitioning, potential jobs, or how the employer can help you with the process (or if they have a resource group available to help). It can be daunting and a little scary transitioning but we are here to support each other.
Brett, Director, Supply Chain
Served: 26 Years
Then: 920A, CW4, Property Book Officer
Now: Director of Supply Chain Sourcing
Direct a team of sourcing professionals READY to evaluate, source and manage suppliers, materials and services to safely support our customers.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? Leadership and organization are transferable skills that align into practically all civilian careers, the ability to work with in team providing clear communication and being positive and resilient in adverse conditions are attributes welcomed in corporate environments.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Culture, I left a culture in the military that took pride in taking care of one another, at Black Hills we share similar values like safety and leadership that empower teams to be successful and look out for each other.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Begin preparing early for your eventual transition to civilian life, pursue education and credentialing opportunities and include a diverse group of connections in your network, not only military but civilian connections too, it helps to have visibility of an array of potential opportunities.
Brian, Director, IT Infrastructure & Operations, Information Technology
Served: 4 Years, 8 Months
Then: 45K Tank Turret Repairman, E4 Specialist, Work on electronic and hydraulic components in the M1A1 Abrams Tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Now: Director, IT Infrastructure & Operations, I lead our IT Infrastructure group.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? I learned some very valuable leadership skills, teamwork and gained outstanding work ethics. The military deployed me oversees which helped me view life differently and really got me out of my comfort zone to grow personally. Anything is possible with the right frame of mind.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Black Hills provides leadership opportunities for veterans, challenging projects and many growth opportunities to grow within our industry.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? It was a big transition from the military to the public sector. Keep an open mind on all the opportunities available and engage a mentor to help you through the process. Networking is key!
Angie, Safety and DOT Compliance Specialist, Safety Dept
Served: 6 years
Then: US Air Force, Armament Technician, Staff Sargent. As a “2-man” on an Armament load crew in Aviano Air Force Base, Italy, my role was to load munitions and troubleshoot electronical problems on the F-16 fighter aircraft. During my second assignment in Anderson Air Base, Guam, I completed preventative maintenance on B-52 aircraft equipment until I was assigned as the Unit Ground and Weapons Safety Manager. In that role, I conducted monthly security training, organized leadership improvement classes and reported safety stats directly to the Squadron Commander. When I moved to Shaw Air Force Base, in South Carolina, I returned to the maintenance shop and became the Equipment Training Manager where I trained assigned personnel on supervisory expectations and monitored individual training records.
Now: Safety and DOT Compliance Specialist The main role of the DOT Compliance Specialist involves monitoring Department of Transportation (DOT) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Specifically, I manage the drug and alcohol testing program, driver qualification files, and the annual audiograms and respirator fit testing. I utilize Microsoft Office Word, Outlook, Excel, and Power Point to organize reports and communicate legal compliance to leadership. As the subject matter expert on BHE policies and procedures, I coordinate and present training to large groups of employees.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? Maintain a professional relationship with all agencies. Realize the importance of following processes. Able to interpret federal regulations and apply them to the work environment.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? Structured departments allow for employees to be specialists in their career field. Common core values offer a team-orientated atmosphere. Always looking for ways to improve and be successful.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Think of all the training you had during your military career such as leadership development courses and add those to your resume. Knowing how to translate military language into civilian terms is difficult so ask questions from veteran resources. Don’t give up if you don’t get your “Dream Job” the first time, remember to adapt and overcome obstacles and use it as a learning tool. Finally, use your GI Bill to complete your degree which will make you more marketable.
Patrick, Senior Human Resources Generalist
Served: 2002-2012 Active Duty US Army, 2018-Current Washington State National Guard
Then: I joined the U.S. Army in 2002. In my 10 years of Active Duty Service, I was a part of the initial invasion into Iraq in 2003 and served a total of 5 combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan spanning close to 1400 days. I was injured in 2009 where I received the decoration of the Purple Heart. In 2012 I decided to change career paths in 2012, but my service to this Country was not fulfilled in my eyes. I then joined the National Guard in 2018 and I’m currently serving as a squad leader in the 1041st Transportation Company.
Now: Senior Human Resources Generalist, supporting our corporate employees at our headquarters office.
How does your military experience and skills help you with your work? I think my Military experience helped me develop a unique leadership style and a perspective on problem-solving that I wouldn’t have probably obtained without my service.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? I believe that Black Hills Energy is an amazing fit because of the focus on always moving forward. I think when Veterans like myself are looking for out next MISSION it’s very important for the mission to be forward-facing. It's important for me to always have something to be striving for, and I think Black Hills shares that sentiment!
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Find you next mission, that thing that gives you purpose, direction, and motivation.
Casey, GIS Technician, GIS Applications and Integrations
Served: 10 years in the United States Air Force
Then: 1W071A, SSgt, Battlefield Weather Forecaster, embedded into U.S. Army units to advise commanders and pilots as to how the weather may play a role in any upcoming missions they are planning.
Now: I am a GIS Technician and my responsibilities are GIS data management, GIS data analysis, map creation/support and training BHE employees/contractors GIS technology and applications.
How does what you learned in your time in the military help you with your work? How to function and contribute in a team that is striving to reach goals together.
What makes Black Hills Energy a good fit for veterans? The culture of BHE is centered around helping each other to be ready to meet the demands of our customers. There are great mentors at BHE.
What advice do you have for transitioning VETS? Education seek it out, whether it be a technical school or college, find something you want to learn to do and try it!