America Supports You: Car Company Steps Up for Employees
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2005 In 1957, Jack Taylor, a decorated World War II fighter pilot, founded a car rental company and named it after the USS Enterprise, one of the carriers off which he flew. Today, Enterprise Rent-a-Car maintains its rich military history by providing unique support to its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Enterprise was one of 15 employers to receive the 2005 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in October for its policies and programs that assist National Guard and Reserve employees and their families.
The company has about 500 employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, said Ed Adams, senior vice president of human resources for Enterprise. About 73 employees are currently deployed, and 300 have been deployed since the war in Iraq began, Adams said.
Activated National Guardsmen and Reservists who work for Enterprise receive salary differential the whole time they are deployed, as the company makes up the difference for employees whose military pay is less than what they were earning on the job. The company also has a number of other programs in place to support the servicemembers and their families, Adams said.
"Certainly when someone is deployed, it can be difficult to fill the position temporarily while he or she is gone, but Enterprise is fortunate to have great employees who we are willing to accommodate because it is viewed as a privilege to have employees serving in the military," he said.
To support families of deployed servicemembers, Enterprise's local offices often set up carpools and home-maintenance programs, Adams said. The local offices also set up letter and correspondence teams to communicate with employees serving overseas, he said.
Army Maj. Robert Landry, a group sales manager for Enterprise Fleet Services, said he benefited from the company's support programs during his year-long deployment to Iraq. The salary differential allowed his family to have a consistent income during his deployment, he said, and the company also provided support to his family and care packages. Most importantly, Landry never doubted that his job would be waiting for him when he returned, he said.
"If only every Guardsmen or Reservist could be as fortunate as myself by working for a corporate patriot like Enterprise," he said. "In Iraq, I was the envy of all of the soldiers for the level of support given to myself and my family by my employer."
Enterprise is glad to support its military employees, because company officials appreciate what they do for the nation while deployed, Adams said. The company was honored to receive the Freedom Award, he said, because it recognized the quality of Enterprise's employees.
"It's a reflection of our employees' commitment," he said. "All of our employees - military and nonmilitary - show such a strong dedication to our company day in and day out. This allows us to offer them that same high level of commitment and support."