Toyota receives Prestigious Award for Soldier Support
By: Harry Wiley, Kentucky Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve Public Affairs
GEORGETOWN, Ky. – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky was honored at its Kentucky facility here May 18 with multiple awards from the Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
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“Our Kentucky ESGR committee is proud of the support that companies in the Commonwealth give to our young servicemen and women,” said Robert S. Silverthorn, Jr., Kentucky ESGR chair.
“However, it is a unique honor for a company to receive multiple awards. Toyota has shown its leadership in supporting our Guard and Reserve troops in many ways, from its scheduling of servicemembers’ time at work so that it does not conflict with military duties to its pledge to hire these men and women.”
“Kentucky’s unemployment rate for our Guard and Reserve service members far exceeds the national unemployment average,” said Silverthorn. “Toyota’s leadership in the area of hiring of these men and women is not only admirable, it sets a high example for other Kentucky companies to follow. Today’s reaffirmation of the patriotic spirit of TMMK was demonstrated by its public signing of a Department of Defense/ESGR Statement of Support.”
The significance of this event was underscored by the presence of ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz at the ceremony. “ESGR salutes and thanks Toyota for its significant and unwavering support of our Guard and Reserve members and their families,” said Rebholz. “Its leadership and commitment to these Citizen Warriors and their families evidenced by its signing of the Statement of Support makes it a true partner in our national security efforts. We in the Department of Defense look forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship with Toyota.”
TMMK was presented with ESGR’s Pro Patria and Seven Seals awards. In addition, TMMK President Wil James was surprised with an ESGR Patriot Award. The “Pro Patria Award” is presented annually by the Kentucky ESGR committee to one small, one large and one public sector employer in the Commonwealth that has provided the most exceptional support of our national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The Seven Seals Award, which depicts the heraldry seals of the seven military services, is given at the discretion of the Kentucky state chairman to honor a wide array of support for service members from all seven Reserve Components and is the only ESGR award that bridges both the employer and volunteer recognition programs.
The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. James was nominated for the Patriot Award by TMMK employee Kentucky Army National Guard Cpt. Tim Mitchell, who serves with the Kentucky Joint Forces Headquarters in Frankfort.
“I certainly feel very honored, especially when I learned the nomination came from one of my own team members,” stated James. “As a company, we understand the importance of supporting men and women who answer the call to support our country through service in the Guard or Reserve.”
ESGR also presented TMMK with an ESGR flag to fly at its Georgetown facilities. TMMK employees, who are military veterans, flew the flag at the close of the awards ceremony.
ESGR is a Department of Defense agency with a mission to develop and promote a culture of employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve and their families, as well as to assist them in employment. ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,800 volunteers throughout 54 committees located in all states, the District of Columbia, Guam/CNMI, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. ESGR is the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. ESGR provides education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at http://www.esgr.mil.