News Releases

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Isakson Praises Corporate America
in Accommodating Record Numbers of Guardsmen, Reservists

Cites Georgia's Home Depot as Model Supporter of Military

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today praised corporate America during a hearing of the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety for their role in ensuring the availability and readiness of Reserve forces and in accommodating the record numbers of Guardsmen and Reservists who have been called into service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I have seen from a personal standpoint, from a professional standpoint and from a political standpoint the tremendous sacrifices corporate America makes for the members of the National Guard and Reserve forces," said Isakson, who served in the Georgia Air National Guard. "Most of these companies are going above and beyond what is mandated, and I want to give them the credit they deserve."

Isakson specifically cited a company from his home state of Georgia, The Home Depot, for its efforts to accommodate its employees who are serving in the National Guard and Reserves. Dennis Donovan, Executive Vice President for Human Resources for the company, testified at the hearing.  

In March 2003, Home Depot enhanced its military leave policy to provide active duty associates with full pay and an extension of their health benefits. In April 2003 Home Depot launched Project Homefront, donating more than 1 million hours of volunteer service and $1 million to help repair the homes of deployed military families. In September 2004, the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves presented Home Depot with its Freedom Award.  In June of this year, the company established a program for returning veterans that provides associates with the critical resources needed for a smooth transition back to work.

"Since the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, our nation has depended on our military Reserves and National Guard like never before in waging the war on terror, and no American company has been a bigger supporter of the Reserves and Guard than the Home Depot," Isakson said.

In the years 2003 and 2004 combined the Home Depot hired 25,000 veterans, and was recognized by G. I. Jobs magazine as America's No. 1 military-friendly employer. In 2004, the company launched Operation Career Front with the departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs to provide career opportunities to military personnel and their spouses.  Also this year, Home Depot was recognized by the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation and the Partnership for Public Service with awards for leadership and distinguished service to America's veterans.

Also testifying before the subcommittee were: Bob Hollingsworth, Executive Director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Christine Bierman, CEO of Colt Safety, Fire and Rescue; Lisa Nisenfeld, Executive Director of the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council; and Ronald Fry, Portfolio Management Associate/Sergeant First Class for Wachovia Corporation.