Military Friendly Employers – ESGR Looking for Nominations

Every year the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) selects the top employers in the nation to receive a “Patriot Award” for hiring military service members, their spouses and for developing  supportive policies for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Service members can nominate their employer online HERE.

Military spouses can also nominate their employer online HERE.

All that’s needed is to explain why your employer deserves to be recognized at the local, state and possibly national level. The local ESGR committee reviews the explanations when selecting nominees for higher-level awards.

Every employer nominated will receive a Patriot Award certificate and accompanying lapel pin. Some examples of what supportive employers do:

  • Participates in ESGR programs like a Statement of Support signing.
  • Sponsors a company Guard & Reserve recognition day.
  • Features Guardsmen and Reservists on Company bulletin boards, in newsletters or at meetings.
  • Maintains contact with Guard & Reserve employees while they are on annual training or mobilized.
  • Has a published military mobilization policy.
  • Provides pay differential during periods of military training.
  • Provides pay differential during mobilizations.
  • Provides paid military leave.
  • Provides continuation of insurance and monetary benefits during mobilizations.

You can learn more about the ESGR Patriot Awards HERE.


Volunteers Work to Find Reservists, Guardsmen Jobs

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Greg Holder will soon take on a volunteer post focused on finding jobs for National Guard members and Reservists and their family.

Many are concerned about finding a job in this economy, but it’s an even bigger battle for Florida’s Reservists and National Guard members returning from war. Their unemployment rate is around 20 percent versus about 11 percent for civilians in the state.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Greg Holder has 29 years military service on active duty and in the Reserves. And he’s concerned about Reservists and National Guard members because of their unemployment rate.

“It’s double our state percentage for the rest of the population,” Holder said. “These men and women sacrificed much to serve their country. They’re exposed to unbelievable conditions. They come back and often times their position has been eliminated as companies have downsized.”

On Oct. 1st, Holder will become the volunteer, state chairman of the Florida Employment Support for the Guard and Reserve, the ESGR. It’s an unpaid position with an organization that coordinates with the Department of Defense.

The Florida ESGR has about 100 active volunteers doing outreach with Reservists, Guardsmen and their families to help them understand their benefits, find jobs and advocate with employers to hire returning veterans.

As chairman of the ESGR, Holder plans to recruit more companies to hire veterans, especially Reservists and National Guard members. He said there’s a rich tradition of Florida companies supporting veterans and that this fall the Jacksonville-based railroad company, CSX, will receive a national award for its program to hire veterans.

Clearwater Coast Guard First Response Helping Haiti

The men and women of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, FL were among the first to respond to Haiti‘s devastating earthquake Jan. 12, 2010. It was a Clearwater Coast Guard crew that did the first flyover of Port-au-Prince and the region:

Tuesday will mark the one-year anniversary of the natural disaster that killed more than 200,000 and left more than 1 million homeless. Many from the Tampa Bay Area and Florida responded with aid. Here’s a Coast Guard video produced in the first weeks of the international response:

Under the direction of the U.S. Southern Command, members of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Reservists also responded offering medical aid, recovery assistance, clearing ports and evacuating the critically injured.

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