Officials Announce 30 Finalists for 2016 Employer Support Awards

March 18, 2016 , DOD News

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department office, has selected 30 employers as finalists for the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest DoD recognition of employers for their support of National Guard and reserve service members.

On behalf of the secretary of defense, ESGR organizes the annual award program, which has presented the honor to 220 employers since 1996. Each year, up to 15 awards are presented to employers in the program’s three categories: large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

This year's finalist group includes 11 large employers, 10 small employers and nine public-sector employers.

Diversity in Size and Location

"The 2016 Freedom Award finalists reflect the diversity in size and location of employers that provide outstanding support for Guard and reserve members," said ESGR Executive Director Alex Baird. "These 30 finalists span the diversity of America's workforce and prove every employer, whether large, small, public, or private, can go above and beyond for our citizen warriors."

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes employers who provide the most outstanding support for these citizen-warriors. This year's recipients will be honored at the Pentagon in August.

ESGR received 2,424 nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. This year's Freedom Award recipients will be announced in late June.

This year’s finalists, listed in alphabetic order of their states, are:

-- Alaska Airlines (Alaska);

-- Qualcomm Inc. (California);

-- Pneudraulics Inc. (California);

-- Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District (Colorado);

-- Accordia Urgent Care and Family Practice (Georgia);

-- Idaho State Police (Idaho);

-- Prairie Grove Consolidated School District 46 (Illinois);

-- Lexmark International (Kentucky);

-- Entergy Corp. (Louisiana);

-- Clark Construction Group LLC (Maryland);

-- Maryland State Police (Maryland);

-- Delmarva Veteran Builders (Maryland);

-- Centralia Police Department (Missouri);

-- Benjamin Franklin Plumbing (Missouri);

-- Nebraska State Patrol (Nebraska);

-- Albuquerque Police Department (New Mexico;

-- Lowe's (North Carolina);

-- Carolinas Healthcare System (North Carolina);

-- Tactegra (North Carolina);

-- The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Ohio);

-- Burford Corp. (Oklahoma);

-- Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon);

-- Comcast (Pennsylvania);

-- Hope Valley Industries (Rhode Island);

-- Iberdrola Renewables - Buffalo Ridge II Wind Farm (South Dakota);

-- Young Touchstone (Tennessee);

-- Fastsigns International Inc. (Texas);

-- T-Mobile US (Washington);

-- Seattle Fire Department (Washington); and

-- Mesa Natural Gas Solutions (Wyoming).