Colorado Springs Utilities to be Honored Nationally for Department of Defense Award

Senator Bennet meets with CEO in advance of ceremony

Today, Senator Michael Bennet met with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) CEO Jerry Forte to congratulate him and his company on being honored with the 2013 Employer Support Freedom Award from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The meeting was in advance of tomorrow’s formal national ceremony honoring CSU and the other 14 firms across the country that received the DOD award, which recognizes employers who provide outstanding support to members of the National Guard and Reserve.  Of CSU’s 1,800 employees, 360 are veterans and 80 are members of the National Guard and Reserve.

"In the course of their service, the brave men and women of our military acquire valuable knowledge and skills that American employers are looking for," Bennet said. "The work that Colorado Springs Utilities is doing to help our citizen warriors utilize these skills, is a great example of how we can give back to those who have already given so much to  our country."

Nearly 3,000 companies were nominated for the award by the Guardsmen and Reservists they employ. Colorado Springs Utilities was nominated by a member of the Navy Reserve.

Senator Bennet has actively worked to help and encourage businesses to hire service members. He recently produced the "Hiring Veterans" Guide for Colorado businesses in response to feedback from businesses and veterans that employers needed more information about where to find veterans and how to apply veteran military skills to the civilian workplace.

Bennet also sponsored the bipartisan Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act in June to improve incentives for private employers to hire veterans by increasing the portion of salary the Veteran's Affairs office pays when a veteran is training.