The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was the first tire and rubber industry manufacturer to be honored with a Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The company received the award on Aug. 26 during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The Freedom Award, which is the nation’s highest honor given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees, was given to 15 companies selected from more than 2,400 nominations.
“These 15 awardees are helping to make the Department of Defense and our country stronger,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during the ceremony. “Today, more than ever, the commitment they’ve shown to our country, and to those who serve our country, is indispensable.”
Goodyear was recognized for the honor based on its strong military support including:
* The company hired 1,000 Guard, Reserve and veteran employees from 2011-2014 and renewed that commitment in 2015.
* Goodyear supports members of the U.S. Armed Forces and families through its annual “Support Our Troops” campaign, which has generated more than $1 million over the past six years.
* Goodyear fosters a culture of support for its associate veterans, reservists and guardsmen and women. From its manufacturing plants to corporate offices, Goodyear offers employee benefits, resource groups, and company policies aimed at supporting associates who serve their country while working for the company.
“I nominated Goodyear for the Freedom Award because I’ve experienced firsthand the heartwarming and outstanding support they’re willing to give veterans, guardsman and reservists,” said Chris Wozniak, engineering manager at Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing and a Lt. Cmdr. in the U.S. Navy Reservist. “The thread of patriotism runs deep throughout all facets of the organization, whether it’s with new hires, transitioning veterans or even associates who have never served but are passionate about supporting our troops.”
At the ceremony, Secretary Carter presented Steve McClellan, president of Goodyear Americas, with the award –a tall bronze eagle.
“To be chosen as one of 15 recipients out of more than 2,400 organizations that were nominated is a great honor,” said McClellan. “Although Goodyear is being recognized for our efforts as a company to support our troops and honor veterans, we believe that what we receive back from our veteran associates is truly invaluable. The dedication, work ethic, perspective and ingenuity that they bring to our offices, plants and retail stores every day is the real reward for Goodyear.”
Goodyear has more than 100 years of history building tires and equipment to help support and protect U.S. troops and is the largest producer of military tires in the country.
In past years, Goodyear has received the Pro Patria and Above And Beyond Awards, two similarly-judged awards from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and was recently recognized as a Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine for its leadership in hiring and supporting veterans.
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