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Southern Company honors first graduates of innovative military training program

ATLANTA, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its longstanding commitment to the military, Southern Company today recognized the first graduates of the transmission line and substation construction apprentice training program the company helped establish at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Ga.

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A Troops to Energy jobs founding member, Southern Company partnered with the U.S. Army to develop the new program providing specialized training to service members stationed at the military base. All 10 soldiers who completed the three-week training course – which included segments on safety and compliance, as well as hands-on experience with tools and equipment – received job offers from Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power.

"As a longtime supporter of the military, Southern Company is proud to enhance our recruitment efforts through this innovative partnership with the U.S. Army," said Southern Company Chief Operating Officer Kimberly S. Greene. "By bringing this specialized training to Fort Stewart, we are helping veterans successfully transition to civilian life while putting their unique skills to work for the benefit of the customers we serve."

The new training program at Fort Stewart was developed in support of Soldier for Life, a U.S. Army program designed to assist military service members and their families in the transition from active duty to the civilian job market.

Southern Company believes that military service members' commitment to safety, teamwork and excellence in their work aligns well with the core values of the utility industry. Ten percent of the Southern Company system's 26,000 employees are veterans or serve in the National Guard or Reserve. Veterans account for 14 percent of the system's new hires this year.

Broadly recognized for its ongoing support of military personnel and leadership in military recruitment, Southern Company is the top-ranked energy company and No. 3 overall in the 2014 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Veterans, the top-ranked energy company and No. 13 overall in the Military Times EDGE Best for Vets: Employers 2014 survey and among the Most Valuable Employers for Military® by CivilianJobs.com for five consecutive years.

In addition, Southern Company was awarded the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award – the highest honor given by the Department of Defense for support of employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserve – and the Pro Patria Award for leadership in providing benefits to military employees. G.I. Jobs has named Southern Company the nation's highest-ranked utility in its Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® listing for seven consecutive years.

The company also actively recruits members of the Navy as a Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program partner and has pledged to support the Joining Forces initiative. In addition, Southern Company annually participates in more than 30 military recruitment events and partners with military transition centers across the country.

With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

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SOURCE Southern Company

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