JACKSON — “We sure are proud to have some of our state’s military personnel working for us,” said Glenn Partrick, ATMOS Energy Vice President of Human Resources, Mississippi Division, during his keynote address to participants of the 2014 Mississippi Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Awards luncheon April 25.
Partrick and ATMOS Energy are but one example of the many Mississippi employers who have National Guard and Reserve members working for them and who are supportive to the point of even establishing hiring programs for these veterans.
“These military families give up a lot for defense, and we owe them our thanks,” said Partrick.
Each year, the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserves nominate their employers for special recognition because of the support their businesses and bosses give them while they serve their country. This year was no different.
Fourteen Mississippi businesses were selected to receive one of three awards: Seven Seals Award, Above and Beyond Award or the Extraordinary Employer Support Award. Wallace and the adjutant general of Mississippi, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins presented the awards.
The Seven Seals Award, which is given in recognition of significant achievement or act and evidence of support over time that promoted the ESGR mission, was presented with honor to: Jesco, Inc. of Tupelo, Department of Human Services of Hernando, Performance Foodservice of Batesville, Wal-Mart of Laurel and Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula.
The prestigious Above and Beyond Award is presented to only the top ten-percent of employers in each state and is designed to recognize employers who have gone above and beyond legal requirements for supporting Guardsmen and Reservists.
This year’s recipients include Hattiesburg Clinic of Hattiesburg, MISTRAS Group of Pascagoula, Hometown Healthcare of Houston, Batesville Junior High School of Batesville, Southern Ionics of West Point, University of Mississippi Medical Center of Jackson and Sanderson Farms, Inc. of Laurel.
The new Extraordinary Employer Support Award was created to recognize sustained employer support of the National Guard and Reserve service. Only prior recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award or the Pro-Patria Award, who have demonstrated a sustained support for three years after receiving the awards, are eligible. This year the award was presented for the first time to a Mississippi business, Gulf States Manufacturers, Inc. of Starkville.