A business in Pulaski County that has hired military veterans under the Show-Me Heroes program recently received the Flag of Freedom award during a ceremony. Charles F. Day & Associates, a company that provides a variety of services and consulting to the U.S. Military that employs a number of veterans, received the award from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (DWD), which administers the program.

DWD is a division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED).

“Charles F. Day & Associates is honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed services by making it a priority to hire veterans when they return home," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "Our veterans have already demonstrated their dedication, discipline and skills in serving our country, and I encourage more Missouri employers to join the ranks of those who have hired a veteran through the Show-Me Heroes program." 

The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, is designed to 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.

“There is no recognition or honor a company can receive that is higher than a certificate with the shoulder patch worn in combat by one of our soldiers,” said Charles Day, president & CEO, Charles F. Day & Associates. “We are grateful for the recognition from the Show-Me Heroes Program, and we are reminded of our duty by the personal endorsement of the soldier who wore this flag in theater.”

So far, 2,932 Missouri businesses have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge and 4,219 veterans have been hired. Those businesses like Charles F. Day & Associates 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.

In 2012, Gov. Nixon signed HB 1680 to further strengthen the Show-Me Heroes program. HB 1680 added an on-the-job (OJT) training component for returning National Guard and 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 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 Web site, 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 Web sites. Employers receive a special certificate, signed by the Governor, and a decal to display at their location. The Show-Me Heroes Web site 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.

In addition to Show-Me Heroes, another measure the state has taken under Gov. Nixon to encourage veterans to live, work, and retire here in Missouri came in 2009 when the Governor signed legislation gradually phasing out the state tax on military retirement income. Under the new law, by 2016, military veterans will not pay any state taxes on military pensions.