First employer in North Dakota to receive distinguished Dept. of Defense award

Basin Electric received a distinguished U.S. Dept. of Defense award April 12, recognizing the cooperative for its strong support of its military employees. Fewer than 75 organizations across the U.S. have received this recognition, and none so far in North Dakota.

The Extraordinary Employer Support Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was presented to Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut, and its board. Watch the video.

ESGR award

(From left) Kevin Iverson, North Dakota ESGR Employer Outreach Director; Paul Sukut, Basin Electric CEO and general manager; Robert “Bob” Wefald, North Dakota ESGR State Chair; and Major General Al Dohrmann, Adjutant General, North Dakota National Guard.

ESGR’s Extraordinary Employer Support Award was created in 2012 to recognize sustained employer support of National Guard and Reserve service.

According to Kevin Iverson, Employer Outreach Director for ESGR of North Dakota, only those employers who have demonstrated continuous, exceptional support of their military service employees can be considered for this award. Subsequent awards may be given in three-year increments from the initial award.

Basin Electric received the Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in 2012.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its subsidiaries have a longstanding commitment to supporting its employees who are on active duty and also those employees who may have an immediate family member on active duty who has sustained an injury while on duty or are recovering from a serious illness.

When employees are called to active service, Basin Electric provides them with technology so they can communicate with their families and coworkers, and pays the difference between their salary at Basin Electric and their military pay. The cooperative also offers an “open door” for family members to raise any concerns that develop while their loved one is deployed. Last year, Basin Electric also made the decision to provide military time off for temporary employees serving, and added time off for military members to be part of honor guards.

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