The City of Yuma signed a statement of support for the Guard and Reserve at a ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday, reinforcing those called up to serve their country will not need to worry about their civilian jobs.
The statement of support confirms the City joins other employers in fully recognizing the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA), and that City managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve, among other points.
“The people who are in the military are a reflection of our country, of the best that our country has to offer. A city is the same thing: we are a reflection of our community and the best the community has to offer,” said City Administrator Greg Wilkinson. “I want to thank everyone who has given part of their time and part of their life back to this country. Although I believe we’ve always supported our military, this is really a good program to formalize.”
Each City department will be furnished with copies of the signed statement of support, which will be placed in various places, including fire stations, police headquarters, and elsewhere.
The agreement does not change any practice or procedure the City currently follows. It does, however, denote a higher level of enthusiasm for supporting employees who also serve in the Guard or Reserve.
“This statement of support is, you want the world to know, and you’re not embarrassed to say, ‘the City of Yuma supports the Guard and Reserves,’” said John Chernoski, Southern Arizona Chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). “It’s a visible demonstration…that you care.”
Chernoski indicated he would continue to look for more area employers to sign their own statements of support. “Yuma is one of the most military-friendly towns I have ever experienced in my life.”
ESGR is an office of the U.S. Department of Defense tasked to promote cooperation and understanding between the reserve components and employers. Their primary mission is to educate employers on the USERRA and ensure its compliance. More information can be found at www.esgr.mil.