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ESGR in the News


DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Bucks County Opportunity Council recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Director of Client Services, Heather Foor was nominated for a Patriot Award by Capt. Chris Handy who is a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 103rd Brigade Engineering Battalion of the 28th Infantry Division.

Capt. Handy nominated Foor for the Patriot Award for her strong support of his service in the National Guard. In nominating Foor, he stated: “they hired me with full knowledge of my service requirements that have been considerably more than the usual 39 days of training per year. They consider me a valued member of their team. I am facing an overseas deployment at the end of this year and I’ve been assured that my job would be waiting as soon as I return.”

Wes Craig, Pennsylvania ESGR Southeast Area Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Foor. In presenting the award, Craig 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.”

Also participating in the Patriot Award presentation ceremony were Elizabeth Zbinden, Food Product Manager; and, Heather Lucoss, Chief Executive Officer. Lucoss told Craig: “Chris is an exceptional worker; his military training really helps in his work here at the Bucks County Opportunity Council. He is professional, responsible, and dedicated to getting the job done; he is primarily responsible for overseeing getting food donations to the 70 food pantries we support in the county, and he does a wonderful job. His logistics experience in the Guard is a huge plus.”

Lucoss signed an ESGR Statement of Support. The Statement of Support confirms that the Bucks County Opportunity Council joins other employers in pledging:
• We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
• We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crisis and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Craig. “I am asking all Southeast 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.”
Bucks County Opportunity Council joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Craig added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Bucks County Opportunity Council 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

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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