KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Arkema, Inc. U.S. Headquarters Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom O’Donovan Signed a Statement of Support (SOS) on Nov. 8. Timing of the SOS singing was arranged to coincide with the company’s recognition of Veterans Day.
Bruce Innis, Arkema’s Co-Chair of the recently formed Veterans Employer Resource Group (VERG) contacted Pennsylvania ESGR Chair Emeritus and Southeast Area Chair Wes Craig to arrange the SOS signing. Innis indicated the company employs 3,700 associates in 50 locations in the U.S. Recent polling of company associates revealed that there were many who have served in the military and that there are a significant number currently serving in the Reserve forces.
After signing the SOS, O’Donovan said: “We realize that these service members make superior employees because of what they learn in the military service. They think on their feet, are team players and team builders, responsible, and professional. We need more like them.”
Also participating in the signing ceremony were U.S. Army veteran and member of the VERG, Mark Kuzinski, VERG Co-Chair Innis, Vice President for Human Resources (VP HR) Sandra Auffray, Arkema, Inc. Chief Council and Commander of the 932nd Mission Support Group, U.S. Air Force Reserve Col. Dori Mansur.
The Statement of Support confirms that the company 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 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.”
Arkema, Inc., 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, Arkema, Inc., 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 (L–R): U.S. Army veteran Kuzinski, VERG Co-Chair Innis, CEO O’Donovan, VP HR Auffray, ESGR Area Chair Craig, and Arkema Inc., Chief Council and Commander of the 932nd Mission Support Group, U.S. Air Force Reserve Col. Dori Mansur.