BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Bethlehem Wastewater Treatment Plant recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.
Bethlehem Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Thomas Ackerman was nominated for the Patriot Award by Sgt. Zachary Taylor of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s A-Company, 328th Support Battalion in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Taylor stated, “Tom Ackerman supports my training events and texts me to make sure everything is OK. He moves around a lot of schedules to help me so that I do not lose pay.”
Joe Gentile, Pennsylvania East Central Area ESGR Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Ackerman. In presenting the award, Gentile commented: “I know first-hand how critical it is to pay tribute to those companies and employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces.”
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Gentile obtained a Statement of Support from Ackerman. The Statement of Support confirms that the 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 Gentile. “I am asking all East 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.”
Bethlehem Wastewater Treatment Plant joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Gentile added: “By signing the Statement of Support, the treatment plant 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, a Department of Defense office, 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