Creating Work with Purpose!

“As they proved during the pandemic and as they prove every day, utility workers are indispensable to our economy and our national security.”

James T. Slevin, National President, Utility Workers Union of America.

Positive outcomes for veterans and their families start with careers that provide purpose and recognize the experience and skills developed during their military service: careers that pay wages and salaries and provide benefits, that not only allow veterans to support themselves and their families, but to plan for and invest in their future; careers that provide affordable healthcare; and careers that offer advancement into positions of increasing responsibilities.

The Utility Workers Military Assistace Program (UMAP), part of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), is laser-focused on achieveing that goal for our veterans and their families by creating a pathway into an industry that is critical to strengthening our economy and vital to our national security. Even during the height of the pandemic, UWUA members were in the “trenches”, ensuring that people had access to clean water, electricy, and heat. UMAP is also taking the lead in  renewable energy and wind power and creating opportunities for veterans in these emerging industries.

And it’s about creating a culture based on the ideas of brotherhood and sisterhood. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to spend an evening with members of UWUA Local 18007 in Chicago. As I watched the members interact with each other, it reminded me of being around an infantry rifle squad in Afghanistan or Iraq—the camaraderie, the strong bonds, and the sense that you know that someone always has your back. This is why the 1,000+ veterans that have graduated the UMAP program are thriving.

Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services has been partnered with UMAP from the beginning, providing influence, ideas, and actions that have enhanced and increased the capacity of this successful program.

If you are an organization that wants to learn more about our work with the UWUA and creating work with purpose for veterans, contact Colonel (Ret.) Sam Whitehurst at

*Far right image: Col (Ret.) Sam Whitehurst, VP, Programs & Services, Dixon Center, speaks at UWUA Region IV Conference 

*Far left image: Rick Passarelli, Director, Veterans Affairs and Workforce Development, UWUA, updates members on UMAP

UWUA Region IV Conference, 11-13 August 2022