Gov. Jay Nixon today joined employees and company leadership at the Kawasaki manufacturing plant in Maryville to present Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. with a Missouri Flag of Freedom award, recognizing the company’s commitment to hiring veterans through the state’s Show-Me Heroes program.
“The men and women who have served in uniform are highly skilled, dedicated and dependable – all traits of an excellent employee,” Gov. Nixon said. “Since we launched this initiative in January of 2010, employers like Kawasaki are honoring our service men and women through the Show-Me Heroes program, while continuing to strengthen our economy.”
Kawasaki established its facility in Maryville in 1989 for the production of general purpose engines. Since that time, the facility has grown to over 900,000 square feet and employs more than 845 people. Kawasaki also houses a research and development center at the Maryville facility.
The Show-Me Heroes program is designed to connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service. Administered by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Show-Me Heroes showcases Missouri businesses that are willing and eager to hire veterans. Kawasaki was one of the first Missouri employers to take the Show-Me Heroes pledge, only a week after the program was announced by the Governor. Since that time, the company has hired at least 29 veterans at the Maryville facility.
“Kawasaki Maryville has always benefited from hiring veterans. They demonstrate our core values and exhibit good leadership skills,” said Steve Bratt, Vice President/Plant Manager.
Employers participating in the program sign a pledge to ramp up efforts to recruit and interview veterans for job openings and are eligible to receive aid for 50 percent of new employees’ training costs for up to six months. Gov. Nixon encourages employers to take the Show-Me Heroes pledge in as little as 10 minutes by visiting ShowMeHeroes.mo.gov. Benefits are immediate and include:
- Eligibility for up to six months of on-the-job training assistance for all eligible new hires.
- The ability to post open positions on Jobs.mo.gov with added visibility to the military job-seeking community through the National Labor Exchange’s veteran-focused jobs portal.
- Help in creating a customized strategy to recruit veterans and meet employment needs.
If businesses hire one or more veterans or service members through the program, they can be nominated to receive the Flag of Freedom Award, which consists of a plaque featuring an American flag patch from the combat uniform of a member of the Missouri National Guard worn while that citizen-Soldier or Airman was deployed overseas.
To date, more than 4,530 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and have reported hiring more than 7,780 highly-skilled, highly-trained job seekers who have served in the military.
Employers and veterans interested in the Show-Me Heroes program should visit ShowMeHeroes.mo.gov for more information.