OLYMPIA, Wash. – The outbreak of COVID-19 has had huge impact on many industries. One of those industries is the global paper market. From disruptions to the global industrial supply chains to increased demands for paper products while navigating new workplace safety rules COVID-19 has posed many challenges.
For those employees in the paper industry who also serve in the National Guard and Reserve Components there have been additional demands on military service. However, even under all this pressure, many companies strive to install a workplace culture that encourages being supportive of those who serve.
One such supervisor, Plant Supervisor Walter Riveria of International Paper, was recognized for his efforts when he was presented with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support he provides his employee Washington Army National Guardsman 1st Lt. Spencer Getz who works as a Corrigator supervisor in his civilian job at International Paper.
The virtual award presentation was facilitated by ESGR South Sound Area Co-Chair Ohad Lowy. “The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Lowy. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”
“Our plant has had an increased demand because of the COVID crisis in production and strain on working conditions caused by safety laws. In spite of the increased pressure, Walter Rivera has never failed to support me and the mission of the Army National Guard,” said Getz. “Without hesitation, he ensured that my job would be protected and that all my difficulties would be listened to and helped if needed. He has weathered a storm of activations and deserves high honors for his constant support and resilience in this time of crisis.”
ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil/WA. To nominate a supportive employer visit https://www.esgr.mil/Employer-Awards/Patriot-Award/Form.
Pictured: Plant Supervisor Walter Riveria (right) of International Paper, was presented with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support he provides his employee Washington Army National Guardsman 1st Lt. Spencer Getz (left) who works as a Corrigator Supervisor in his civilian job at International Paper.