FMC Technologies to Receive Spirit of Hope Award for Supporting Service Members’ and Veterans’ Return to the Workforce

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Mental Health America of Greater Houston applauds FMC Technologies' commitment to the wellbeing of military service members and veterans in the workplace.

We are inspired by FMC Technologies’ efforts in hiring veterans and we hope other Houston area corporations will be as well.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston is pleased to announce that it has selected FMC Technologies, Inc. as recipient of the Spirit of Hope Award for 2013 in recognition of its commitment to the wellbeing of military service members and veterans in the workplace.

This award, which will be presented at the 2013 Treasures of Texas Gala on November 6, recognizes an individual or organization in the Greater Houston community that exemplifies an outstanding commitment to the wellness and mental wellbeing of Houstonians—especially those with mental health concerns—as part of their careers, as volunteers, as role models or as mentors.

“We are inspired by FMC Technologies’ efforts in hiring veterans and we hope other Houston area corporations will be as well,” said Susan Fordice, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Greater Houston. “Recognizing FMC Technologies is our way of demonstrating sincere gratitude for its exemplary efforts in hiring individuals who have served in the military.”

Greater Houston/Harris County is home to the largest population of veterans in Texas. FMC Technologies’ enthusiasm for recruiting veterans and military members has earned it recognition as one of the country's most supportive employers of reserve-component troops including the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award—the U.S. government's highest honor given to employers for outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

"Military veterans are some of the nation's most important sources of well-educated, highly trained and strongly motivated employees who possess a wide range of skills," said Tony Solomon, U.S. Army Combat Veteran (OIF) and director of the Houston/Harris County Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative at Mental Health America of Greater Houston. "Gaining meaningful employment gives veterans a new sense of purpose and a new type of camaraderie. It’s encouraging, as FMC Technologies is leading the way in the hiring of returning veterans and transferring their military skills and experiences into cutting edge careers.”

“Being able to do productive work and support yourself and your family is a critical component of health and well-being. Clearly FMC Technologies understands that the technical, leadership and entrepreneurial skills gained during service translate well into civilian employment. We applaud its commitment to providing opportunity and helping to chip away at an unemployment rate that is unacceptable," said Fordice.

A recent national survey of businesses suggests that 65 percent of companies surveyed said they would hire a veteran over another equally qualified candidate. Nearly a third of the employers polled said they are actively recruiting veterans.

The Spirit of Hope Award was created in 2004 to honor Joan Alexander for her stalwart commitment to eliminate stigma and increase the understanding of brain disorders. This esteemed award is given to those rare individuals or organizations who share Joan Alexander’s passion, indomitable spirit, and her singular ability to send a message of hope to people living with mental health concerns.

The Spirit of Hope Award has significantly recognized the dedication of some of the area’s most distinguished philanthropists, civic and business leaders including Cheryl Burguières, posthumously in 2005, and Tom Forrester Lord, Charles O’Connell, Rep. Garnet Coleman, Rep. John Davis, Dr. Trip Casscells, Dr. Tom Horvath, George Parnham and Mary Parnham in 2010.

This year, the 2013 Treasures of Texas Gala will also honor Harris County Judge Ed and Mrs. Gwen Emmett with the Ima Hogg Award and will feature a keynote presentation, “Performing Your Life,” with Emmy Award nominated actor Jeffrey Tambor.

To learn more about the 2013 Treasures of Texas Gala tickets and sponsorships visit Mental Health America of Greater Houston online at http://www.mhahouston.org/events/162 or contact Director of Development, Randy Barnes at events(at)mhahouston(dot)org.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston, established in 1954 by Miss Ima Hogg, is one of the area’s oldest education and advocacy organizations working to enhance the mental health of all Houstonians and to improve the lives of those with mental illnesses.

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