Express Employment Professionals has received the Flag of Freedom award from the Division of Workforce Development for hiring military veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program.

The Division of Workforce Development presented the award during a ceremony at Express Employment Professionals in Union.

The DWD is a division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED).

Express Employment Professionals has hired 128 veterans at its Union location.

“Express Employment Professionals 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. Jay 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.”

The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, helps 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 businesses. To date, 3,560 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 6,627 veterans have been hired.

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 this OJT program, employers will be reimbursed for 50 percent of Show-Me Heroes participants’ 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 to register and take the pledge. Once a company has done so, it is listed prominently on the Show-Me Heroes website which highlights veteran-friendly employers across Missouri.

The listing includes contact information for the business and links to their website.

Employers receive a special certificate, signed by the governor, and a decal to display at their location.

The Show-Me Heroes website is a resource for job seekers and employers which include articles on improving the job search and links for employers to report their veteran and service member hires.

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.