Veteran - Chris Aycock

Chris Aycock, left and Jerome Richard.

Southern Company ranks No. 21 on G.I. Jobs Magazine's 2007 list of the Top 50 Most Military-Friendly Employers - a jump from last year's survey, which ranked the company at No. 48.

Some 2,500 companies are considered for the award each year. Selection criteria include assets dedicated to military hiring; National Guard and Reserve policies; percentage of new hires who are veterans; internal military and veteran recruiting, training and promotional programs; and veteran community involvement and outreach.

"Though this is an honor, it doesn't surprise me," said Chris Aycock, retired U.S. Army Captain and president of the company's newly formed Military Veterans in Power Affinity Group. "We have learned throughout Southern Company that military personnel match our culture. They match Southern Style."

Now there is momentum to attract and retain this talent.

When asked about the new military affinity group, Aycock said, "Southern Company does so much to support the military through its employees and the community that we wanted a way to give back to the company. The formulation of this affinity group is designed to mentor other veterans and to advise talent acquisition in their recruiting and retention efforts. We also want to place more emphasis on veteran-owned businesses, which is a future goal with Supplier Diversity."

About 15 percent of Southern Company employees have served in the U.S. military. That percentage is expected to increase as the talent acquisition team ramps up military recruiting event participation around the country. These events give recruiters a chance to directly share information with military National Guard and Reserve members about joining Southern Company.

"What we know is that with more than 250,000 personnel leaving the service each year, and Southern Company's need for technical and skilled labor, the G.I. Jobs distinction and our military recruiting strategy are more important than ever," said Jerome Richard, Southern Company staffing strategist and board member of the Military Veterans in Power Affinity Group.

Richard, a retired U.S. Army captain, developed and executes Southern Company's military recruiting strategy.

"During 2008, our recruiting team will travel extensively to military installations from Florida to Virginia. At these venues, we can find top talent to support our managers' and supervisors' candidate pools," he said.

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