ABC Supply Chair Diane Hendricks spoke during a ceremony held Monday to celebrating ABC Supply becoming the 1,000th partner of the U.S. Army PaYS program, which connects those exiting the U.S Army with interviews and possible employment.

BELOIT—U.S. Army representatives visited ABC Supply’s National Support Center on Monday to recognize the company becoming the 1,000th partner in the U.S. Army’s Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program.

PaYS works with partner employers to give soldiers five job interviews and possible employment after their service in the Army.

The ceremony, which included a ceremonial signing of ABC Supply becoming a partner and a plaque presentation, was followed with refreshments. The event was held on the day marking the Army’s 246th birthday and Flag Day.

This PaYS program is a strategic partnership between the U.S. Army and a cross section of corporations, companies and public sector agencies. Its goal is to reconnect America with its Army and give youth an opportunity to serve their country while they prepare for their future. The partnership between the U.S. Army and ABC Supply supports the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act.

Soldiers who participate in the program gain leadership, valuable professional and technical skills, experience and confidence in their career opportunities. PaYS provides candidates with a pool of highly skilled, motivated and responsible candidates from which they may fill their personnel needs, according to a press release from ABC Supply.

The ceremony kicked off with the singing of the national anthem by Jim Cornelison, followed by remarks by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Collin Keenan, Battalion Commander of the Milwaukee Recruiting Battalion.

“It’s a unique opportunity for not only the U.S. Army and ABC Supply, but also for transitioning soldiers,” Keenan said.

Keenan said the outreach program is dedicated to connecting soldiers with the business community and helping them return to civilian life. Participating companies include UW-Health and Harley Davidson. There are 33 corporations in Wisconsin participating in the program.

Since 2017, more than 1,500 veterans have joined ABC Supply’s family. The company hired 279 veterans in 2020 and currently employs 19 active military members, said ABC Supply President and CEO Keith Rozolis.

ABC Supply Chair Diane Hendricks said Americans live in a sovereign nation, the best in human history.

“We owe all of our freedoms to our brave military,” she said.

Hendricks held up a small book she carries with her, a shortened version of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution which she said was written by the founding fathers to provide freedom and opportunity. She thanked the Armed Forces for protecting those freedoms. There is no place else, she said, where people can dream such dreams and reach their goals.

From management roles to driving positions, ABC Supply offers a variety of opportunities for veterans to leverage skills learned in the military. Depending on their driving experience, they may be able to fast-track their commercial driver’s license.

ABC Supply is also a multimillion-dollar sponsor of Homes For Our Troops. The organization builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post 9-11 veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives. ABC Supply locations provide building materials and associates get involved by volunteering and welcoming families to their new homes.

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