The Port of Seattle has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is the Department of Defense’s highest employer recognition award.
The award, which was created in 1996, publicly recognizes employers that provide exceptional support to their employees serving in the US National Guard and military reserves. Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who’s employed by the nominated organization, or from a relative of that person.
About 20 percent of Port of Seattle employees are veterans or currently serve in the National Guard or reserves, according to the port. Seattle is the only US port that is a finalist for the award, and just one of three companies on the West Coast.
“The men and women in the Guard and Reserve gladly serve our country when called, and we owe them a debt of gratitude,” port CEO Tay Yoshitani said. “Supporting their desire to serve, ensuring they have a job when they come home – it is our honor to play a small role in their contribution.”
Examples of ways nominated employers show their support for the military members they employ, according to the DoD, include continuing their pay, sending them care packages while they’re deployed and being flexible with work schedules.
This year’s award nominees range from small businesses to larger private companies, to public agencies like the port. Since its inception, more than 160 employers have received the Freedom Award, according to the DoD.
Fifteen award winners will be selected from the finalists, and will be honored at an event in Washington DC scheduled for later this year.