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In The News

PG&E Expands Support for Veteran Transportation Vouchers in Santa Rosa

Over the past six months, Jason Pippin visited the Santa Rosa Veterans Administration (VA) clinic 55 times. As a veteran, Pippin relies on medical care, classes to manage his PTSD, social worker services and even dental care. Like some veterans, Pippin doesn’t have a car, but he is able to ride his bicycle 20 miles from his home in Petaluma to Santa Rosa to visit the clinic.

From left, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, PG&E's Leslie Horak and Rob Black and Tim Miller of the American Red Cross at Friday's event. (Photos by Brittany McKannay.)

This isn’t the case for most veterans using the invaluable services of the VA clinic. Even for Pippin, weather and time can make the long commute a burden, which is why bus and taxi vouchers provided by Vet Connect are so important for the thousands of veterans in Sonoma and Lake counties.

“Having people who are willing to take care of you helps me take care of myself,” said Pippin.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sonoma and Lake counties are home to more than 40,000 veterans. The sprawling nature of the counties makes it difficult for many veterans without personal transportation to access VA clinics. For low income veterans, a bus pass or taxi voucher can dramatically increase his or her quality of life.

Today (May 23), PG&E, the American Red Cross, the Veterans Administration and Vet Connect came together to address this important need for veterans throughout the community. PG&E announced a nearly $12,000 donation to Vet Connect and the VA of Sonoma and Lake Counties for bus and taxi vouchers for local veterans.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize what our veterans have given us, but more importantly to take an opportunity to give back to our veterans,” said Rob Black, senior director of community relations at PG&E.

This is the second year PG&E has partnered with the American Red Cross, the VA and Vet Connect to help local veterans.

PG&E has a long history of supporting veterans through a variety of programs and partnerships. PowerPathway, a PG&E program that trains the next generation of utility industry workers, has graduated more than 250 veterans, 100 of which now work for PG&E. In 2013, PG&E hired 225 veterans into full-time or temporary positions and has a Veterans Employee Resources Group more than 700 strong. In addition, PG&E set a new company standard in spending more than $125.5 million with service disable veteran business enterprises in 2013.

(Click here to read more about PG&E’s commitment to veterans as America observes Memorial Day.)

Just days before Memorial Day, the Sonoma County VA event captured the importance of supporting the men and women of the U.S. Military who sacrifice so much for their country.

For more information about PG&E’s PowerPathway program, visit PG&E’s website athttp://www.pge.com.about.careers/powerpathway/.

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