|EERC's Ken Grohs receives patriotic employer award|
Ken Grohs, facility and safety coordinator at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), has been presented a Patriotic Employer Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award is given to an employer who supports employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.
Master Sergeant Jess Hernandez, a facilities and safety assistant at the EERC and a senior occupational safety and environmental health major at UND, has been a member of the North Dakota Air National Guard since 1989. Hernandez was deployed to Iraq in February 2007.
“When I heard Jess was going to be deployed, I simply told him his job will be here waiting for him when he comes home,” said Grohs, Hernandez’s supervisor. “It is so important for employers to support troops who have spent so much time away from home and give them an opportunity to continue their work when they return.”
Hernandez served as a munitions specialist during his deployment and was based at Balad Air Base, Iraq. He says his being deployed affects a lot of people, and he wanted to say thank you.
“When I got back, I thought, how can I thank Ken and the EERC for supporting me and allowing me to go? This award was my solution,” Hernandez said. “All the other troops in the field need the same support from work and family so they have something to look forward to when they come home.”
Hernandez anticipates graduating from UND at the end of 2008 and is working on transitioning from the military to a civilian career.
“The EERC is very supportive of any of its employees who are members of the U.S. military,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “We are very proud of the award that Ken has received for his exceptional commitment to his colleagues and this country.”