Support of Deployed Workers Earns Turbocam Top Honor
By Carol L. Bowers
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 12, 2007 Turbocam International’s support of its deployed employees with technology to use in the field and a special supply fund has earned the company a place of honor alongside 14 other organizations being recognized today with Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Awards.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, three Turbocam employees have been called to serve overseas: Brian Barber, a New Hampshire Air National Guard crew chief on KC-135 Stratotankers; Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Tom McGee, who served in 172nd Field Artillery in Iraq; and Army National Guard Cpl. Chris Wentworth, who served in 744th Transportation Company in Iraq. Army National Guard Sgt. James Martel of 3643rd Maintenance Company, the spouse of a Turbocam employee, also was deployed.
Because Turbocam’s chairman and founder, Marian Noronha, actively recruits National Guard and members reservists as workers and honors the importance of family. He moved quickly to fully support the deployed men.
“When our soldiers are facing new forces, tactics or technology, it is the whole American community that needs to be rallied to find solutions, not just the Pentagon,” Noronha told Fosters.com, an online newspaper serving New Hampshire.
Noronha arranged for Turbocam to provide one deployed employee with software and hardware to set up an Internet cafe for his unit. He also arranged for the company to provide live-saving battlefield surveillance technology to another. In addition, Noronha had the company create a $10,000 fund so the deployed men could draw on it to buy needed supplies that were not routinely available through normal channels.
At the New Hampshire-based plant where the company manufactures and engineers machinery for aerospace, automotive and industrial markets, wall displays, company publications and newsletters paid tribute to Turbocam’s military employees.
“Our biggest contribution probably was not the camera technology,” Noronha said in the newspaper interview. “It was the Internet cafe that enabled soldiers to stay in touch with their families. They need to know that they are supported back home.”
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recognizes U.S. employers that rise above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department agency, manages the award process. ESGR assists Guard and Reserve members and their employers understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under the act.