TVA Honored For Support of Guard and Reserve Employees
July 20, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority has been selected to receive the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The honor is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition to employers for exceptional support of U.S. Armed Forces Guard and Reserve employees.
TVA is one of 15 recipients chosen from 3,236 nominated employers this year. The awards were announced July 20 during a ceremony in Arlington, Va., by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency.
“The people and programs at TVA have always demonstrated strong support for the military, Guard and Reserves,” said Charles “Wes” Wingo, TVA Veteran Affairs manager. “The Freedom Award is all about that commitment and those soldiers who help protect our country. We are honored to receive this distinguished recognition.”
TVA has 127 employees serving in the Guard or Reserves, including 15 now deployed on military duty, as well as 1,798 other military veterans in its workforce.
TVA also implements several programs and initiatives to support Guard and Reserve employees. These include:
- Sending 4,000 care packages last year to service members overseas.
- Requiring supervisor training on military employment and reemployment laws, and posting these policies in employee break rooms and company newsletters.
- Supporting a military hiring strategy, participating in military job fairs and offering a Helmets to Hardhats program that connects veterans to construction careers.
- Sponsoring an annual Veterans Celebration to publicly recognize and celebrate the service of TVA veterans, Guard and Reserve employees.
- Providing $10,000 payments to survivors of any reservist killed in the line of duty while on active duty.
TVA was a national semi-finalist in 2011 for the Freedom Award, and in 2010 received the Pro Patria Award, Tennessee’s highest honor for support of the National Guard and employees in military service. TVA also has received seven Patriot Awards in Tennessee.
“Freedom Award recipients go above and beyond what the law requires of Guard and Reserve employers,” said Jim Mungenast, vice chair of the Tennessee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee. “TVA exemplifies the spirit, dedication and actions that this award was created to recognize.”
A selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. Only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award since it was created 1996. The 2012 honorees will be recognized Sept. 20 at the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Mike Bradley, Knoxville (865) 632-8860
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000