Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves’ presence on the nation’s inland waterways just became bigger, much bigger.
HEBRON, Ky. – At the christening of C&B Marine’s new towboat, The Atlantis, held Oct. 31 in Hebron, on the Ohio River, the company’s owners signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support.
Flying from the new towboat’s pilothouse was an ESGR banner, soon to be replaced by a permanent ESGR sign on its side.
“I like to think of it as ESGR’s first ‘floating billboard,” says Kentucky state ESGR Chair Allen Youngman, a retired Army major general. “But it won’t be the only one. C&B Marine’s owners have indicated they want to put the ESGR logo on all of the firm’s boats – 18 in all.”
C&B operates along the entire 986 miles of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois. It employs about 175 workers, and operates various barges, multiple deck flats for loading and unloading, barge cranes, and other construction equipment. The company also operates four fleeting areas and a heavy lifting dock in the Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Youngman says it all became possible because of one of his ESGR volunteer’s connections to the inland waterways, his understanding of the potential of good exposure for ESGR, and his relationship with C&B Marine’s owners, who want to hire more employees of good character and abilities.
“That person,” explains Youngman, “is Kempton ‘Chaps’ Baldridge, our Area 1 chair, who serves as chaplain for the Ohio River Region for The Seamen’s Church Institute. He recognized the potential and knew how to begin the staff coordination, which eventually involved fulltime staff, the chair, the area chair in which the christening took place, and public affairs.”
Best of all, according to Youngman, the result of this teamwork is going to be good careers for our Guard and Reserve personnel. “The owners have indicated to us that our Guard and Reserve members provide a pool of prime potential employees who are drug-free, trained and mature,” Youngman says. “When you get a Guardsman or Reservist, you get a different kind of employee – one who knows how to get up in the morning for work, knows how to listen to directions, know how to work as a team, and knows how to get the job done.”
At the ceremony, Youngman presented C & B Marine with a Department of Defense Seven Seals award for its “outstanding support.” Youngman was one of the featured speakers at the christening of The Atlantis, as well as a floating dry dock and a crew boat. C&B Marine also had the ESGR name and its mission permanently painted on the inside of its floating dry dock.
ESGR is a Department of Defense office established in 1972 to help develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. In addition to serving as an advocate for military veterans in the workplace, one of ESGR’s primary missions is to encourage the employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
Photos by SSG Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs.