U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the U.S. oil and gas industry's continued efforts to hire a larger percentage of American veterans.

"As Veterans Day approaches, we are reminded of the promise we made to our American heroes who have served at home and overseas - that we will stand by them and support them when they return home, which is why it is great to see so many of our nation's oil and natural gas producers ramp up efforts to hire more and more veterans," said Vitter. "It makes perfect sense for the nation's fastest growing industry - domestic energy production - to hire veterans who are valuable assets to the work force, highly trained, and have unique experiences."

In the past five years, the oil and natural gas industry has hired more and more U.S. military veterans, partly due to the shale gas boom. G.I. Jobs recently released the 100 top employers of U.S. military veterans of 2014-2015, 21 of which were energy companies. Smaller communities are also working to train and hire veterans in the energy sector with programs out of community colleges, including a free welding training out of the Community College of Beaver County in Pennsylvania.

Recent efforts from the oil and natural gas industry include:

• The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) has been promoting the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which began in 2011 with a coalition of 11 companies who were committed to hiring 100,000 veterans by 2020. In the last three years, the coalition has grown to include more than 150 companies, including a number of oil and natural gas companies, which have already hired more than 161,752 veterans.
• The American Petroleum Institute (API) developed a job search portal to help military veterans find jobs in the oil and natural gas industry, with over 20 companies participating.
• Phillips 66 recently partnered with the Center for America to be the lead corporate sponsor for American Jobs for America's Heroes, a national campaign to help unemployed National Guard members find jobs.
Devon Energy has committed to filling at least 6% of open positions with military veterans.
Battlefields to Oilfields is a training and placement service for veterans in the energy industry, and partners with South Central Louisiana Technical College in Morgan City, La.
• Founded in 2009, Retrain America provides "fast tracked workforce retraining" for veterans and connects them with careers in the oil and gas industry.
ShaleNET, launched in 2010 in Pennsylvania, provides training for veterans to gain entry-level jobs into the oil and natural gas industry.
Baker Hughes, a Texas-based oil and gas company, actively recruits military veterans and sponsors a Veterans Readiness Group that helps to prepare and connect veterans to employment.