The award recognizes employers at the state and local levels who have exceeded the legal requirements for granting leaves and providing support for military duty by their employees.
Additionally, two Charleston Area Alliance staff members received individual awards. Matt Ballard, president and CEO, and Lesley Hager, project assistant, were presented with the prestigious “Seven Seals” Award.
The “Seven Seals” Award is the highest award ESGR gives to an individual and is symbolic of the seven services that comprise the Reserve components. It acknowledges individuals whose initiative and support, over time, promote the ESGR mission.
The Alliance has long been a supporter of the National Guard and ESGR in West Virginia. The community, business and economic development organization worked with Yeager Airport, the Kanawha County Commission, Gov. Joe Manchin, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Gen. Allen Tackett during the BRAC process several years ago to help save the 130th Airlift Wing. In addition, the Alliance has partnered with ESGR to help educate regional businesses about the benefits of employing the men and women of the Guard and the tremendous benefit to the private sector generated from National Guard training.
“The men and women serving our country have enough to worry about while deployed,” Hager said. “It’s critical we don’t add to their concerns by helping ensure they have their jobs waiting on them when they return home. It just made sense to bring this issue to our membership, which collectively represents more than 40,000 employees in the Charleston area, and assist in educating them about the opportunities related to employing someone in the Guard or Reserve.”