Sears Holdings Heroes at Home Program
Department of Defense Freedom Award
- In Oct. 2005, SHC received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
- The award was created to publicly recognize American employers who provide exceptional support to their employees who voluntarily serve the nation in the National Guard and Reserve.
- The Freedom Award is the highest in a series of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) awards.
MOAA Distinguished Service Award
- In March 2006, SHC was honored with the Military Officers Association of America's Distinguished Service Award.
- Award recognized SHC's support of associates in the Guard and Reserve and military families nationwide.
Programs for SHC Associates
Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support
- Sears signed a Five Star Statement of Support of the ESGR, publicly demonstrating support for employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
- The five star level of support signifies that Sears:
- Reviewed its human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Acts Law.
- Promotes training for managers and supervisors to effectively manage associates who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
- Adopted polices and programs that are "Above and Beyond" what is required by the USERRA Law.
- Serves as an advocate for associate service in the National Guard and Reserve and helps to promote the mission of ESGR.
Military Pay Differential and Benefits Continuation
- In September 2004, the company extended its military pay differential (fills the gap between military pay and employer pay) and benefits continuation to 60 months for eligible employees called to duty in the Reserves or National Guard.
- Previously, policy provided 36 months of coverage.
- While deployed, eligible employees can:
- Continue participating in SHC's life insurance, medical and dental programs.
- Receive annual merit pay increases, incentive pay.
- SHC holds a comparable position for deployed employees for up to five years.
- The company has encouraged and supported employees serving in the armed forces for decades.
- Records indicate that Sears provided support to employees serving in the military in 1916.
- Sears' pay differential was first instituted in 1990 for Operation Desert Shield-Storm.
Military Recruiting Partnerships
Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP)
- In 2002, Sears Logistics Services (SLS) became a founding member of ASEP, partnering with 12 other companies and the Department of Army to pilot a program that offers spouses of service members a resource for finding employment.
- Provides spouses with the opportunity to meet short- and long-term employment goals and increase family financial security.
- ASEP Web site links to sears.com/careers and allows spouses to search Sears job openings by zip code for added convenience.
- SLS program manager continues to serve on the ASEP strategic communications committee.
- Partnership expanded to all SHC units in 2006.
Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS)
- Army recruiting tool designed to provide civilian jobs to qualified soldiers after completing their initial tour of duty.
- At enlistment, soldier expresses interest in potential employment with SHC. When service duty ends, SHC provides soldier with priority application opportunity.
- Sears Logistics Services was a founding members in 2001.
- Today, all SHC, including all Sears and Kmart retail formats, participate in the program.
- SHC has more soldiers signed on today than any other of the 90 corporate PaYS partners.
Department of Defense Fellowship Program
- Allows senior level active duty military personnel with logistics experience to work at SHC corporate headquarters and field units for one year in lieu of continuing education at a service-related school.
- Both the military and Sears benefit from sharing the service member's experience and leadership skills.
- Nine members from Army and Marine Corps have participated for more than five years.
Transition Assistance Program
- Kmart currently has recruiting efforts in its field organization focusing on the US Navy's Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
- Through a grant of nearly $2.5 million to the National Military Family Association (NMFA), SHC was the exclusive sponsor of "Operation Purple Summer Camps," a series of camps for children of deployed military personnel.
- SHC's donation is the largest in NMFA's history.
- Funding is part of the Sears American Dream Campaign, a multi-year $100 million commitment to strengthen families, homes and communities nationwide.
- Operation Purple is the first camp to bring together children of deployed parents from all branches of the armed forces, including the National Guard and Reserves.
- In 2005, more than 2,500 children, ages 8 to 18, at 23 camps participated in typical camp activities and special programs to teach strategies for dealing with deployment-related stress.
- In 2004, nearly 1,000 children participated in 12 camps.
Keepsake Book: "A Tribute to Military Families: Letters of Thanks from Our Nation's Children"
- Sears and NMFA published the keepsake book to celebrate the importance of military families and raise awareness of their contributions to the strength of the U.S. military force.
- Book features 100 essays written by children from fourth through sixth grade as part of an essay contest sponsored by Sears and NMFA.
- Half the essays feature children writing about why they are proud of their family member serving in the military.
- The other essays feature children writing about why they appreciate the families of service members.
- Out of the more than 1,000 entries, a distinguished judging panel helped select the essays included in book, including Gen. Richard Myers, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Copies of the book were distributed to:
- Every municipal public library in the country.
- Almost every major U.S. military installation in the world.
- Every Member of the U.S. Congress.
- National and local media outlets.
- Books were sold on sears.com with proceeds benefiting NMFA.
- To honor military families as part of the Sears American Dream Campaign, Sears sold HomeFront Cards in its Full-line stores nationwide.
- The greeting card outreach program gave customers the opportunity to thank military families for their courage and sacrifice.
- Proceeds benefited NMFA to benefit "Operation Purple."
- The cards will be available for $2 between April 17 and May 16, while supplies last. Completes cards were delivered to military families across the country living on or near installations with high deployments.