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Gov. Nixon presents Flag of Freedom award to Monett business that has hired veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED JANUARY 30, 2014 BY THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR JAY NIXON

Gov. Nixon presents Flag of Freedom award to Monett business that has hired veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program

MONETT, Mo. – A business in Monett that has hired 24 military veterans since becoming part of the Show-Me Heroes program today received the Flag of Freedom award from Gov. Jay Nixon. The Governor presented the designation to EFCO Corp. at a ceremony at the business. EFCO, a Pella Company, is a leading manufacturer of architectural systems for commercial buildings.

“EFCO is honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed services by making it a priority to hire veterans when they return home,” Gov. Nixon said. “Our veterans have already demonstrated their dedication, discipline and skills in serving our country, and I encourage more Missouri employers to join the ranks of those who have hired a veteran through the Show-Me Heroes program.”

“Veterans are highly-respected for their work ethic and versatile skills that make them a key part of the success of our team,” said EFCO President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Farquhar. “EFCO is proud to employ hard-working veterans who have bravely served our country, and now call Missouri home, as they serve EFCO customers across the USA.”

The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, 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. Employers participating in the Show-Me Heroes program sign a pledge to ramp up efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their business.

So far, 3,460 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 6,002 veterans have been hired. Those businesses like EFCO that have hired veterans 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 in Iraq or Afghanistan.

In 2012, Gov. Nixon signed HB 1680 to further strengthen the Show-Me Heroes program. HB 1680 added an on-the-job (OJT) training component for returning National Guard and Reservists and recently-separated active duty service members that Show-Me Heroes employers agree to hire.

Through an OJT program, employers will be reimbursed for 50 percent of Show-Me Heroes participant’s wages during a contracted training period. These resources will help Missouri veterans obtain necessary skills to transition from military to civilian careers.

Employers who wish to participate in Show-Me Heroes can visit the state’s Web site, MO.gov, to register and take the pledge. Once a company has done so, it is listed prominently in an online database that highlights veteran-friendly employers across Missouri. The database includes contact information for the businesses and links to their Web sites. Employers receive a special certificate, signed by the Governor, and a decal to display at their location. The Show-Me Heroes Web site is a one-stop-shop that, in addition to the employer directory, also includes resources for job-seeking veterans such as links to employment openings in state government.

“Missouri’s military veterans have served honorably, are well trained, and make excellent employees. That’s why my administration remains committed to helping our veterans find jobs when they return home,” Gov. Nixon said. “I ask every employer in Missouri to join us in this effort by visiting MO.gov today to take the Show-Me Heroes pledge so we can support our veterans and grow our economy.”

“The EFCO team is deeply honored to earn the prestigious Show-Me Heroes Flag of Freedom award, presented by Governor Nixon,” Farquhar said.

In addition to Show-Me Heroes, another measure the state has taken under Gov. Nixon to encourage veterans to live, work, and retire here in Missouri came in 2009 when the Governor signed legislation gradually phasing out the state tax on military retirement income. Under the new law, by 2016, military veterans will not pay any state taxes on military pensions.

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