LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received the New Freedom Initiative award from U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao in recognition of its commitment to helping American service members with disabilities succeed in the workplace and build careers. The company's Operation IMPACT - Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition - program provides transition support to service members severely injured in the war on terrorism and helps them identify career opportunities.
"Northrop Grumman is honored to be a recipient of the New Freedom Initiative award," said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of corporate responsibility for Northrop Grumman. "The company's Operation IMPACT and similar initiatives will facilitate the successful reintegration of American service members into the workplace and uphold the program's motto, 'Have jobs waiting for soldiers, not soldiers waiting for jobs.'"
Northrop Grumman's Operation IMPACT was launched in 2005 after an employee presented the program idea to company management. Since many service members are under the age of 24 and only have military experience, the program focuses on mentoring these service members and identifying career opportunities inside and outside the company. The program operates a recruiting effort in reverse, conducting one-on-one interviews with service members to identify skill sets and then consulting company management to find suitable positions. If a service member has died or is too severely injured to serve as the primary wage earner for his or her immediate family, the program accepts another primary family wage earner such as a spouse or parent.
Northrop Grumman was recognized with the Secretary of Labor's sixth annual New Freedom Initiative award along with two other businesses, two nonprofit organizations and one individual for their exemplary and innovative efforts in furthering the employment and workplace environment for people with disabilities on Oct. 24 in Washington.
Northrop Grumman employee Gary Boggs, who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is a testament to the program's success. After returning from the war, Boggs found the transition into the workforce difficult. He went through four jobs before discovering Northrop Grumman at a job fair.
"Most employers just look at the resume, but Northrop Grumman put its arms around me and helped me through the entire process, going as far as creating a position for me," said Boggs.
Boggs is currently working in quality assurance at Northrop Grumman and travels for the Operation IMPACT program. "Just this week, I was able to attend a job fair with Northrop Grumman at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and it was great to go back there and give my fellow soldiers hope. I feel I am a walking success story and can relate to them and know what they are going through. The day I was injured, I told myself I could either roll over and give up or make this a positive experience. I chose the latter and have never looked back."
The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) coordinates the annual New Freedom Initiative Awards program. Introduced by President George W. Bush in 2001, the New Freedom Initiative is a government-wide effort to accelerate the full inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream American life.
ODEP is leading a 21st century federal response to the historic underemployment of people with disabilities. In collaboration with other government agencies, public and private employers, and additional stakeholders, ODEP facilitates the development and implementation of innovative policies and practices necessary to achieve a fully inclusive workplace.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Tom Henson Northrop Grumman Corporation (310) 201-3458 firstname.lastname@example.org