By Tony Khing
SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E reaffirmed its long-standing endorsement of employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves by signing a Statement of Support from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) on Thursday (May 8) at its headquarters.
The ESGR, a Department of Defense office, works to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and reserve service.
“PG&E has a long-standing commitment to hiring and supporting veterans,” PG&E Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley said. “They bring three essential skills – leadership, discipline and teamwork – which help us deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers. We’re proud to be recognized by the ESGR for supporting our National Guard and reserve employees.”
PG&E Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Greg Pruett signed the statement on behalf of the company. Pruett, who’s the sponsoring officer of the company’s Veterans Employee Resource Group, explained that PG&E’s support of veterans dates back to World War II. He said at the beginning of the war, the company made a commitment to hold the jobs of those who had served the country overseas.
“We have continued that policy since that time,” said Pruett. “It’s something that makes me very proud to be a PG&E employee.”
Col. Robert Spano of the California National Guard expressed the military’s appreciation to companies such as PG&E for their support of the armed forces. “You can’t go wrong by hiring a veteran or a current member of the Guard or reserve,” said Spano. “I can’t emphasize enough how great it is that we have employers who emphasize that hiring a service member is a great thing.”
Besides the signing of the Statement of Support, the other highlight of the ceremony was hearing from some PG&E employees serving in the National Guard and reserves. Among those was David Roberts, a recruiter who’s a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. Roberts expressed appreciation to his supervisors, who allow him to go to Singapore for joint services exercises three weeks a year. He also cited PG&E’s military-leave policy, which is “unequal to most other companies.”
John Busterud, a director and lead counsel who’s a colonel in the Army Reserve, said PG&E “goes beyond the call of duty in supporting its citizen soldiers.” He added, “I’m personally grateful for the support my family received from PG&E during my tours of duty in Iraq and the Horn of Africa.” (Click here to see a video story on Busterud’s experiences.)
And Rupert Espinosa, a PG&E materials handler and an Army Reserve command sergeant major, brought his supervisor, Jacob Inocencio, to the ceremony. Inocencio wanted to show his support for Espinosa. He recognizes the leadership skills Espinosa learned and continues to refine in the Army. “Rupert is a leader in the military, so it’s easy for him at work,” said Inocencio. “He’s a natural leader.”
PG&E has received honors from the ESGR. In 2002, the company was given the Pro Patria Award for demonstrating the greatest support to Guard and reserve employees through their leadership and practices. In 2003, PG&E earned the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
Email Tony Khing at email@example.com.