Con-way Freight honored for hiring veterans

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Con-way Freight was presented the Patriotic Employer Award at its Coldwater facility in Fremont, Ind., by the Northeast Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The Patriot Award was created by ESGR and the Department of Defense to recognize employers that demonstrate leadership and promote personnel policies that encourage employee participation in the Guard and Reserve.

“Every one of us slept in a warm safe bed over the last 24 hours, and we were able to do so without fear as a result of Americans like Sean Dreer, an employee of Con-way Freight who is currently serving in Afghanistan,” said David Hohiemer Jr., service center manager at Con-way Freight’s Coldwater facility. “Sean left his family and his job in order to keep our nation safe. I am honored to work with a team that recognizes those sacrifices made when an employee has to change uniforms and defend our freedom and who does their best to demonstrate sincere appreciation while helping out whenever and wherever possible.”

Employers who receive the Patriot Award are committed to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, publicly acknowledge the contributions of Reserve component employees to the nation’s defense, devote resources that go beyond the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act requirements and provide assistance to Guard and Reserve employee families during mobilizations.

“Soldiers returning from duty have for generations experienced hardship re-entering employment in the private sector,” says Elizabeth Ransom, ESGR program support specialist. “As the drawdown of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan continues, we have a debt of honor to these heroes. They deserve employers who are dedicated to helping them make the transition from military to civilian employment as seamless as possible.”

Con-way offers its employee/soldiers pay differentials and uninterrupted health benefits for their families during the first year of deployment. Over the last five years, the company has paid more than $1.1 million in differential compensation to its deployed citizen/soldiers. The company’s human resources representatives maintain contact with soldiers’ families to ensure that they understand all available benefits, while employee volunteers also provide outreach to families, assisting them with everyday challenges such as home maintenance, auto repairs and snow removal. For employees on active duty, the company sends care packages full of items like soap, shampoo and magazines.

Upon return from active duty, employees are reinstated to the same or equal job, pay and grade level. If an employee needs to move for a returning job, the company pays relocation expenses. To help employees readjust to civilian duty, Con-way’s Employee Assistance Program provides access to counseling through the company’s health benefit plans.