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3M Company Named Finalist for 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

Wed, May 18th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

ARLINGTON, Va. - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced 3M Company of St. Paul, Minnesota is a finalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. 3M Company is one of only 30 finalists selected from 4,049 nominations received earlier this year from Guard and Reserve service members or their families.

3M Company was nominated by an employee serving in the Army National Guard. A board selected the finalists from the group of 148 semifinalists announced last month. Employers named as finalists for the Freedom Award stand out for the formal and informal initiatives they put in place for Guard and Reserve employees and their families. 3M Company was nominated for the award based on their extensive family support, including painting the interior of a Gold Star mother's home, hosting spouse coffees, organizing fishing trips for children of deployed service members and establishing an internal referral network for family services.

"Our Nation's employers have provided a high level of ongoing support for their military employees and their families even in the tough economic climate of recent years. These 30 finalists have gone to extraordinary lengths to create a supportive culture within their workplaces allowing our citizen warriors to serve with the confidence that they are most appreciated and that their families are being cared for at home," said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. "Being selected as a finalist is a tremendous achievement and honor that all of us should recognize and applaud."

A national selection board comprised of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select 15 recipients for the 2011 Freedom Award. The DoD is expected to announce the award recipients in early summer. The 2011 recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on September 22, 2011. Since 1996, only 145 companies have been presented the Freedom Award. Previous honorees from Minnesota include The State of Minnesota, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Ultra Machining Company.

About ESGR and the Freedom Award:

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. ESGR was established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please visit or contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 703-696-1171, ext. 539 or by email at


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