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ESGR in the News

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MALVERN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Customers Bank recently received an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

The Above and Beyond Award is presented by ESGR State Committees to recognize employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits. The award is given in limited numbers by State Committees to employers who have had at least one of their supervisors/managers recognized with a Patriot Award, and who have signed or agree to sign an ESGR Statement of Support.

Customers Bank is recognized for its exceptional support of Guard and Reserve servicemembers. In recent years, Customers Bank employees have received Patriot Awards and a Seven Seals Award for outstanding support of military personnel, their families, and veterans. Currently, the bank employs two U.S. Army Reservists and 15 Veterans. They have an active support group that provides support, cards, emails, and help to servicemember and their families.

Presenting the award to Customers Bank’s representative Vivin Varfhaese on behalf of ESGR was Keith Dotts, Pennsylvania Southeast Area Employer Outreach Representative. Dotts 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.” Dotts 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.

Varfhese signed an ESGR Statement of Support confirming that Customers Bank 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 crises and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Dotts. “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.”

Customers Bank joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Dotts added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Customers Bank 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/PA.

PHOTO #1 Above and Beyond Award Presentation (L to R): ESGR Southeast Volunteer Dotts and Varfhaese accepting the Above and Beyond Award on behalf of Customers Bank.

PHOTO #2 Statement of Support Signing (L to R): Varfhaese signing a Statement of Support

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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