Invenergy Blog: November 09, 2022
Invenergy Veterans Spotlight: Jake Jablonski, Asset Manager, Renewable Asset Management
As we celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month this November, Invenergy offers our appreciation to our veterans for their service to the country and for the expertise and dedication they bring to our company and the clean energy field.
Approximately 9 percent of Invenergy U.S. employees are military veterans, spanning from the staff at our Chicago headquarters to the technicians and plant managers working across our fleet. We are grateful to work alongside our veterans to build a more sustainable world and proud to highlight their stories throughout this November.
How long have you been at Invenergy and what is your current role?
As of November 10, I will have been with Invenergy for about six months. I am an Asset Manager on the International Asset Management team, focused on integration, process improvement, and operational coordination activities for Invenergy Services Brazil, which is preparing for its first O&M contract.
Please provide details about your service including your branch, rank/title, job, how long, when, and where you served.
I served on Active Duty for about six years before transitioning to the Michigan Air National Guard, where I currently hold the rank of Captain and serve as a Munitions and Missile Maintenance Officer on the 217th Air Component Operations Squadron’s Logistics Staff. My unit augments Air Force headquarters in Europe and Africa with operational-level planning and management of logistics capabilities. My last assignment on Active Duty was as Special Weapons and Armament Flight Commander at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. Before Whiteman, I was stationed at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy.
What motivated you to join the military?
All U.S. soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, and guardians take an oath to defend the Constitution above all else. I wanted to join the military because I believe in what our Constitution stands for – that all people, no matter where they come from or how different they are, are equal as Americans. I feel that we have to live our beliefs to make this true. I also joined for unique travel, education, and work experience opportunities.
How did your military experience prepare you for your job now? What skills, capabilities, and characteristics transfer over?
One way that the military prepared me for my current job was by placing me in different positions. This required me to ask a lot of questions and work with a lot of different people within the organization to accomplish my responsibilities. At Invenergy, I ask a lot of questions and get to know different people within the company to learn more about what we do, what we’re capable of, and how we can capitalize on that in Brazil. A lot of the skills I learned from leading a large industrial maintenance operation transfer over to my work at Invenergy, such as the logistics of moving big things, maintenance scheduling, management of operational support requirements (e.g., tooling, training, consumables, vehicles, etc.), and leadership of multidisciplinary teams.
What do you think veterans will get out of working in the clean energy industry?
I like working in the clean energy industry because I feel like I am continuing to serve my country in new ways: I am contributing to energy security through expansion and diversification of our energy matrix, and I am helping to slowly reduce our carbon footprint. As with maintenance in the military, I also get satisfaction from fixing something that was broken. I think many veterans will feel the same satisfaction from fixing a turbine and watching it run that they felt when fixing an airplane or ship and seeing it fly or sail again.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
After serving in Europe, Veterans Day took on a whole new meaning to me. Veterans Day originated from World War I’s Armistice Day. There are military cemeteries scattered all over; a testament to the absolutely staggering number of lives lost to the wars of the 20th century. I was fortunate enough to spend Veterans Day 2018 at Flanders Fields (Ypres and Passchendaele, Belgium), commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. To me, Veterans Day is an important time for us to remember how fortunate we truly are and to reflect on those who gave their lives so that we may live the way we do today.