SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- During Memorial Day weekend, communities across California and the nation will remember the men and women of the armed forces who died serving their country. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) joins its customers in recognizing these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. While Memorial Day is a time to honor the service of our fallen, it is also an opportunity to thank America's veterans for their service and recognize their contributions. These men and women serve the American people with distinction and continue to deserve the nation's gratitude. Veterans also deserve an opportunity to compete in the civilian workforce, and to find a place to apply the leadership skills and experiences they learned in the military. As a major employer in California with more than 20,000 employees, PG&E is working to provide such opportunities to veterans, who bring strong and diverse skills to the utility industry. Over the last several years, the company has stepped up efforts to recruit and retrain veterans and help them adapt their military skills into successful careers in energy through its PowerPathwayTM workforce training program. This past Tuesday, PG&E Senior Vice President of Human Resources John Simon testified in Washington, DC, before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on the importance of hiring veterans. During the hearing, Simon testified that out of 200,000 electric and natural gas utility workers nationwide, an estimated 40 percent are eligible for retirement in the next five years. He noted that with utilities planning to invest nearly $2 trillion to enhance, modernize and make infrastructure more resilient over the next decade, thousands of new workers will be needed. "Veterans bring valuable skills to the utility industry," said Simon. "They understand the meaning of service, realize the importance of training and know how to work as a team. These individuals were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and we are committed to providing them with a path forward in life with real career opportunities."