Gov. Nixon at CLEMCO

Gov. Jay Nixon Monday presented the Flag of Freedom award to Clemco Industries in Washington for hiring military veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program.

“Clemco 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,” Nixon said.

“Our veterans have already demonstrated their decision, 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,” he said.

The program, established by 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 partipating in the program sign up and pledge to ramp up efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their businesses.

Some 15 veterans work at the Clemco faclility in Washington, including company President Arnie Sallaberry. Another veteran, Nathan Derstine, is currently deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Missouri National Guard.

So far, 2,369 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 1,817 veterans have been hired.

Clemco and other businesses who 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 and Afghanistan.

This summer, Nixon signed HB 1680 to further strengthen the Show-Me Heroes program. The bill 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 the OJY program, employers will be reimbursed for 50 percent of Show-Me Heroes participant’s wages during a contracted training period. Those resources will help Missouri veterans obtain necessary skills to transition from military to civilian careers.