An American soldier salutes his employer
Apr 13, 2014 | 645 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COURTNEY MOORE, center, a Cormetech associate who has nominated his employer for the prestigious 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, is flanked by two plant leaders whom he credits for being supportive of active and retired U.S. veterans. From left are Cory Lee, Moore’s supervisor; Moore; and Denise M. Rice, director of Cleveland Operations & Development. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
COURTNEY MOORE, center, a Cormetech associate who has nominated his employer for the prestigious 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, is flanked by two plant leaders whom he credits for being supportive of active and retired U.S. veterans. From left are Cory Lee, Moore’s supervisor; Moore; and Denise M. Rice, director of Cleveland Operations & Development. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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“Refreshing” is the best word we know to describe the partnership between U.S. Army Reservist Courtney Moore and his employer — Cormetech, a widely respected Cleveland operation that manufactures catalyst for the power generation, petrochemical and industrial processing markets worldwide in order for them to meet state and federal air pollution regulations.

Other such positive relationships between employers and employees undoubtedly exist in our hometown, but we hope for even more; and we recommend Cormetech as their benchmark.

Moore is a trusted employee who shares his loyalty, time and commitment between his country as a “Citizen Warrior” and his employer as a dedicated shipping and receiving associate.

In spite of being a 13-year serviceman in the U.S. Army, Moore had difficulty finding a job after ending his military career as a full-time soldier. But then he discovered Cormetech. Likewise, Cormetech discovered him.

It was a good fit.

Moore was a quality worker who needed a job. Cormetech was a quality manufacturer that had job openings, especially in the wake of a $2.6 million investment almost three years ago to expand its air pollution control production operations.

The rest is manufacturing history and a lesson in the value of hiring U.S. veterans.

Cormetech, which opened its Cleveland plant in 1999 and operates 24/7, believes in giving America’s military men and women a chance in the workplace. This includes those who remain in service to their country as “Citizen Warriors” with the National Guard or as Reservists.

Denise M. Rice, director of Cleveland Operations & Development for the Durham, N.C.-based company, explains the local plant’s rationale. In a prior edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner, she told our newspaper, “We (Cormetech) do what any other responsible company should be doing for our veteran soldiers.”

Her mindset landed an employee like Courtney Moore, as well as some 20 other veterans who currently work at the Cormetech plant.

The manufacturer’s commitment to U.S. veterans doesn’t come by accident. It is based on proven success.

“Military veterans are disciplined; they are great at problem-solving and troubleshooting, and are comfortable with being around and working with equipment,” Rice told us.

Moore’s appreciation for Cormetech’s, and Rice’s, faith in the demonstrated abilities of veterans goes far beyond conventional verbiage. Truly, he looks to his employer as a blessing following the disappointing rejection of more than a few online applications.

What he needed was the chance to present himself in a one-on-one interview. Cormetech gave it.

What he wanted was an opportunity to prove himself as a dedicated employee fully capable of learning new skills and adapting to higher-tech processes. Cormetech gave it.

What he sought was employer compassion in the face of human need. Cormetech gave it.

U.S. Army Reservist Moore is now a valued member of the Cormetech team, and recently he gave back to Cormetech.

Moore has nominated his employer for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. It is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition honoring employers that support employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

According to a press statement provided by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which is a Department of Defense office, some 2,864 nominations have been received from Guardsmen and Reservists from across America including all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Moore’s nomination of Cormetech is just one among the many. But the nominations are not token gestures. They are the direct result of workplaces that place high value on the abilities, and the dependability, of U.S. veterans.

From this grand pool of nominees, a selection of semifinalists will be announced later this spring. As many as 15 award recipients will then be named this summer and honored at the Pentagon in September at the 19th annual Freedom Award ceremony.

Whether Cormetech will be among the few chosen from this massive field of deserving nominees is unknown. But that is hardly the point.

It isn’t about winning.

It is about growing partnerships. It is about building relationships. It is about finding a way for America to take American soldiers into her fold — not just as career soldiers, Guardsmen or Reservists, but as viable, faithful and productive workers ... American workers.

In an earlier interview with our newspaper, Moore said it best, “One of the most enjoyable things I get to do here is take pride in placing that ‘Made in the USA’ sticker on each and every module that is shipped.”

That says it all.

It is a sentiment embraced by most who have served, and who still serve, their country. And now, they ask for nothing more than a chance to serve again.

We congratulate Courtney Moore for his pride in quality, his diligence to task and his willingness to say “thank you.”

We applaud Cormetech for its vision, one that doesn’t see the limits. Rather, it sees the potential.

As we await the naming of the semifinalists, our best wishes to Reservist Moore, to Cormetech and to all who call it a great place to work.

May other Cleveland and Bradley County employers follow in their footsteps.