Ameren honored with nation's 2011 Freedom Award
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 28, 2011
ALL-AMERICAN AMEREN: Four Ameren employees who have served in the military nominated their employer for a 2011 Freedom Award, and the company was among 15 that were selected to receive the honor.
The Freedom Award is the highest recognition the Department of Defense gives to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and the Army Reserve.
Ameren was selected from among 4,049 employers that were nominated.
Honorees got their awards Sept. 22 during the 16th annual Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve awards ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington.
Air Force Lt. Col. Bruno Stopka of the Missouri Air National Guard was one of the employees who nominated Ameren for the award. Stopka, who is the supervising engineer for Ameren Missouri's Ellisville Operating Center, said in his award submission that Ameren provided him and other deployed employees with differential pay and full health benefits.
Ameren also sends care packages to deployed employees and their families and offers reintegration resources.
"I salute my employer, Ameren, and its employees who truly stand behind supporting their Guard and Reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines, and continue to recognize those who have previously served our great country," Stopka said in his letter.
Nearly 600 of Ameren's 9,300 employees have served in the military. Ameren hires veterans through the Missouri governor's "Show-Me Heroes Program," and maintains a military job-recruitment website. The company has certified several of its apprenticeship programs so veterans and service members can access their GI Bill apprenticeship and on-the-job training money. Ameren also pledged up to $1 million in energy credits to deployed military families living in Missouri.
Tom Voss, head of Ameren Corp., was in D.C. to accept the award and met with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, prior to the awards ceremony.