South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced today that RENEW Energy, Inc. (RENEW) was honored with an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the South Dakota Guard and Reserve.
The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.
RENEW joins thousands of American employers who have reviewed and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires to include pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits which complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized.
RENEW was nominated by Staff Sgt. Daniel Noeldner and Sgt. JD Hanson with the South Dakota Army National Guard. Several policies that RENEW goes Above and Beyond include covering all travel expenses for guard drill, and continuation of benefits when serving; going beyond business practices to accommodate schedules, training, and events; and hiring preferences for active military and veterans. Noeldner and Hanson also indicated that RENEW provides assistance and resources to members of the military during their service. They keep in excellent communication and focus on the needs of service members and their families.
ESGR 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 Maj. Lona Christensen at 605-737-6540 or visit www.ESGR.mil.