The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has been named a recipient of the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the nation’s highest honor given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.
Goodyear was one of 15 companies across the United States recognized and selected from more than 2,400 nominations submitted by Guardsmen and Reservists. Goodyear is the first company in the tire industry to receive the award, which was created in 1996.
“The extraordinary support Goodyear provides contributes greatly to the readiness and resilience of our guardsmen and reservists,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “Their support allows those troops to serve our nation at home and abroad knowing their civilian careers are secure, and is vitally important to the success of our national security strategy.”
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-‘14 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; and
- Goodyear’s executive leadership supports the company’s military employee resource group, which advises on hiring initiatives and mentors new Guard and Reserve employees, and provides community and company networking assistance.
“On behalf of the 1,400 Goodyear associates who are either U.S. military veterans or Reservists, we proudly accept the Freedom Award,” said Steve McClellan, president, Goodyear Americas. “We take enormous pride in our century of commitment to those who serve, through our iconic blimp program, our charitable giving and our position as the largest tire producer for the U.S. military.”
Goodyear has more than 100 years of history building innovative tires and equipment to help support and protect U.S. troops and is the largest producer of military tires in the country. The tire manufacturer has helped build more than 150 blimps for the U.S. Navy and customizes its iconic Goodyear Eagle race tires annually to display a “Support Our Troops” message during NASCAR races in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In June, Goodyear introduced a new military promotion in conjunction with Walmart. The company’s donation of $100,000 to the Support Our Troops organization, a nonprofit nationwide organization that works to bolster the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families, complemented by a consumer component, will allow consumers to show their support to military members through contributions and nominations. More details can be found here.
In past years, Goodyear has received the Pro Patria and Above And Beyond Awards, two similar awards from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and was recently recognized as a Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine for its leadership in hiring and supporting veterans.
Goodyear and the other recipients will be honored in an Aug. 26 ceremony at the Pentagon.