A Springfield business that has hired veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program today received the Flag of Freedom award from Gov. Jay Nixon. The Governor presented the designation to O’Reilly Auto Parts at a ceremony at the company’s corporate headquarters.
“O’Reilly Auto Parts has led the way in making it a priority to hire our veterans when they return home,” Gov. Nixon said. “Our veterans are skilled, hard-working and dedicated – traits all employers look for in a new hire. That’s why I’m asking every employer in Missouri to join us in this effort by visiting MO.gov today to take the Show-Me Heroes pledge so we can support our veterans and grow our economy.”
O’Reilly Auto Parts is one of the nation’s largest chains of auto parts stores, with more than 4,000 retail stores and 24 distribution centers in 42 states. The company was founded in Springfield in 1957, where it currently has 1,080 employees at its corporate headquarters. O’Reilly has hired approximately 500 veterans since Jan. 1 of this year at its retail and distribution centers across the nation, including its facilities and stores in Missouri.
“In the more than 55 years since O'Reilly Auto Parts opened its first store in Springfield, our company has grown to become one of the nation’s top leaders in the automotive aftermarket business. To achieve this success, we recruit team members who value hard work, friendly service, and a knowledge base our customers count on,” said Greg Henslee, O'Reilly Auto Parts’ President and CEO. “That’s why we’ve been so proud to hire American military veterans at our stores and distribution centers across the country. America’s service men and women have served honorably, and make excellent team members. On behalf of the entire O'Reilly Auto Parts family, we are proud to accept Missouri's Flag of Freedom award.”
The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, helps connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service. Administered by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Show-Me Heroes showcases Missouri businesses that are willing and eager to hire veterans. Employers participating in the Show-Me Heroes program sign a pledge to ramp up efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their business.
To date, 2,989 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 4,271 veterans have been hired. Businesses, like O’Reilly Auto Parts, that have hired veterans receive the Flag of Freedom award, which consists of a plaque featuring an American flag patch from the combat uniform of a member of the Missouri National Guard worn while that Citizen-Soldier or Airman was deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Page 2 of 2 - Last year, Gov. Nixon signed legislation to further strengthen the Show-Me Heroes program by adding on-the-job training (OJT) for returning National Guardsmen, Reservists and recently-separated active duty service members that Show-Me Heroes employers agree to hire.
Through an OJT program, employers will be reimbursed for 50 percent of the Show-Me Heroes participant’s wages during a contracted training period. These resources will help Missouri veterans obtain necessary skills to transition from military to civilian careers.
Employers who wish to participate in Show-Me Heroes can visit the state’s website, MO.gov, to register and take the pledge.
Once a company has done so, it is listed prominently in an online database that highlights veteran-friendly employers across Missouri. The database includes contact information for the businesses and links to their websites.
Employers receive a special certificate, signed by the Governor, and a decal to display at their location. The Show-Me Heroes website is a one-stop-shop that, in addition to the employer directory, also includes resources for job-seeking veterans such as links to employment openings in state government.