From an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve News Release
ARLINGTON, Va., May 22, 2012 – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, announced 30 employers as finalists for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award today.
The Freedom Award is the DOD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. A review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selected the 30 employers from the 3,236 nominations received earlier this year from Guard and Reserve service members, or family members acting on their behalf.
“The 2012 Freedom Award finalists demonstrate that outstanding support of Guard and Reserve members is not limited by an employer’s size, industry or region of the nation.” ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz said. “These 30 finalists span the diversity of America’s workforce and prove every employer can go above and beyond for our Citizen Warriors.”
The finalists for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award are:
-- Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, N.D.;
-- Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.;
-- Centerline Mechanical LLC, Cave Creek, Ariz.;
-- Citi, New York, N.Y.;
-- City of Edina Police Department, Edina, Minn.;
-- Cranston Public Schools, Cranston, R.I.;
-- Crystal Springs United Methodist Church, Crystal Springs, Miss.;
-- Delta Air Lines, Atlanta;
-- Don Gorman Electric LLC, Santa Fe, N.M.;
-- Gary Jet Center, Gary, Ind.;
-- Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky.;
-- Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, Calif.;
-- iostudio, Nashville, Tenn.;
-- Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Bismarck, N.D.;
-- Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kalamazoo, Mich.;
-- Kent County Levy Court, Dover, Del.;
-- L-3 Communications, New York, N.Y.;
-- Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles;
-- LPI Printing and Graphics Inc., Stoneham, Mass.;
-- Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, Ohio;
-- Newberry County Sheriff's Office, Newberry, S.C.;
-- Nyemaster Goode, Des Moines, Iowa;
-- Port of Seattle, Seattle, Wash.;
-- Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.;
-- Siemens Corporation, Washington, D.C.;
-- Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLC, Raleigh, N.C.;
-- Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.;
-- Town of Camden Police Department, Camden, Maine;
-- Uniform Color Company, Holland, Mich.; and
-- Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award since it was established in 1996. Employers named as finalists for the award distinguish themselves not only for adhering to the employment and reemployment rights of Guard and Reserve members, but for actively creating opportunities to assist and support the service of both Guard and Reserve employees and their families.
The 2012 finalists’ support initiatives include establishing a military relations council to internally advocate for Guard and Reserve employees, adjusting work schedules to accommodate military training days, and even driving the pregnant spouse of a deployed service member to the hospital when she went into labor and setting up a computer connection so the service member could see his newborn child.
DOD will announce the 15 recipients of the 2012 Freedom Award early this summer following completion of a national selection board comprised of senior DOD officials, business leaders and prior awardees. The 2012 recipients will be honored with the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in Washington, D.C., in September. Past recipients of the Freedom Award have met privately with the President and Vice President of the United States, and the Secretary of Defense.
The Freedom Award was instituted under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. Established as a DOD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers.
Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.