HERSHEY, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that The Hershey Company recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces during ESGR’s 50th Anniversary year.
The Hershey Company’s Plant Manager Brian DeWald was nominated for the Patriot Award by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Fedder of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 56 th Stryker Brigade Combat Team located in Horsham, Pennsylvania. In nominating DeWald for the Patriot Award, Fedder commented, said: “Brian DeWald is always flexible in assigning technicians to cover my shifts missed due to Guard commitments. Without fail, he makes me feel at ease with coverage at work.”
Presenting the award on behalf of ESGR was James Astor, Pennsylvania South Central Area Chair. In presenting the award, Astor commented: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces. It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.” Astor added: “Today’s members of the Guard and Reserves are highly trained and skilled; they bring integrity, a global perspective and, proven leadership to the civilian workforce.”
Also participating in the Patriot Award presentation to DeWald were representatives of The Hershey Company: Vice President of U.S. and Canada Supply Chain, Will Bonifant; and, Director of Manufacturing West Hershey Plant, Brian Lang.
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Astor obtained a Statement of Support from Senior Human Resources Manager, Terry Panetta. The Statement of Support confirms that The Hershey Company joins other employers in pledging:
“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Astor. “I am asking all South Central Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”
The Hershey Company joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Astor added: “By signing the Statement of Support, The Hershey Company is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”
ESGR, an office of Department of Defense, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.