A Navy Third Class Petty Officer (E-4) who was stationed aboard the USS Tarawa (LHA-1), home ported out of San Diego, CA. While in the Navy he was a Hull Technician and Damage Control man with over 3+ years of experience in installing, maintaining and repairing valves, piping, plumbing system fittings and fixtures, and marine sanitation systems. He also repaired flooring, structures and hulls by welding, brazing, riveting and caulking; examining, testing welds and various shipboard structures; using radiological, ultrasonic and magnetic particle testing equipment. After he honorably completed his obligated Navy service back in 1988, he held a variety of jobs at Kellogg, Home Depot, Extreme Transportation, and All Access. He was last working for Nite Train Coach as a Professional Driver when he found out about the Power4Vets program. His journey with Power4Vets first started when he was introduced to the program by his mentor (John Theotonio) and he enrolled into the program on 27 February 2013. Bennie had no real background and or experience in power generation, but he took on the training program seriously knowing that it would prepare him and improve his odds in obtaining the opportunity to land his dream job as an operator in the power industry. Bennie was able to successfully achieve NERC Reliability Certification, as well as pass his PJM Transmission Operator Certification, and now he works for Cleveland Public Power (CPP) as a contract Transmission Operator with the assistance of the Prep International team. We congratulate Bennie for his diligence and hard work to stay focused in the training program and believing that it would change his life while helping him land his dream job in the industry that he has desired to achieve for a long time.
In Bennie’s own words:
“I am forever grateful to the good folks of IncSys, including: Dr. Robin Podmore who had the vision for the program we all know as Power4Vets and David Miranda the manager of the program and placement. My hat is off to both of you. The Power4Vets program gave me the tools needed to succeed. The first phase is the use of the PowerSimulator, the very same simulator that PJM uses for their trainees.
I used the PowerSimulator every day for 3 months running real life scenarios. After successfully completing the first phase, I moved into the second phase; the NERC standards. Once again the Power4Vets team gave me the tools to aid in my understanding of the NERC standards such as the ACE equation, emergency operation, voltage control and restoration. In one year, I passed and received my NERC Reliability Coordinator Certification on my first attempt. The Power4Vets program has changed my life and I am grateful! Thank you.”
John Theotonio – Bennie’s Mentor:
“Ben Rice is a unique individual. During his time enrolled in Power4Vets, he would spend 12-16 hours a day studying. He is a quick learner, and the program was well suited to his style of learning. Whenever he wanted more help, Carol Rice or I would coach him through some of the problems. The fact that he passed the NRC RC exam with a very high score on the first attempt shows that Power4Vets is a quality learning program for veterans. Carol and I are very proud of his progress, and his getting hired as a Transmission Operator. He will be a fine addition to the control center. As a veteran myself, I also want to thank Robin, David, and Power4Vets to helping veterans obtain the knowledge and skills to become system operators.”
“On 2/27/2013, I received an ecstatic text from Ben: I’m accepted into the Power4Vets program! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The Power4Vets program was Ben’s foundation stones for his balanced success. The first step toward Ben’s success was his motivation. He mastered the PowerSimulator training by studying 12 hours a day or longer. He would reevaluate every scenario that he did not understand and research his training guide and EPRI until he thoroughly understood the concepts that Power4Vets provided. Power4Vets is an excellent training program and is helping veterans train to become skilled System Operators!
Power4Vets has changed Ben’s life and he is forever grateful. John Theotonio and I are extremely proud of Ben’s motivation and success. I want to thank Dr. Robin Podmore and David Miranda for giving Ben the foundation for his success as a new System Operator. Thank you, Carol Rice”