ONE Gas is the parent company of Kansas Gas Service, Oklahoma Natural Gas and Texas Gas Service.
The program was created in 2017 to build an employer network to create programming and peer-to-peer learning for organizations interested in recruiting, hiring and developing veterans in the workplace.
“What an honor for ONE Gas to be recognized again,” said Lori Park, chair of VERG (Veterans Employee Resource Group). “Veterans have the training and qualities employers are looking for to make a strong and diverse workforce. ONE Gas recognizes that and supports hiring, developing and retaining veterans as part of our workforce.”
Heidi White, manager of Fleet and Facilities, and Jared Mikles, manager of Right of Way Acquisitions and Damages, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
“I am proud of the support we show veterans and active-duty military, not just on Veterans Day or Memorial Day,” said Heidi. “Over the years, we have seen several ways the company has recognized and supported veterans who work for us and those in our communities.”
From left: Tulsa City Councilors Jeannie Cue and Lori Decker Wright, Jared Mikles and Heidi White and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.
For example, Heidi added, ONE Gas created awareness signs for combat veterans during the Fourth of July. (Fireworks can potentially have negative effects on some veterans). The company also signed hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards for veterans in military hospitals.
“I have never served in combat, never had to spend holidays overseas away from my family,” said Heidi, who comes from a family with many veterans. “However, I have seen the effects of what those hardships can do to our soldiers. I believe they deserve not only our respect but also the utmost support we can provide them. I’m proud to work for a company that reflects those very thoughts.”
Jared began his service in the Navy on Aug.11, 2006, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, aboard the USS Germantown LSD-42 stationed in San Diego, California.
“Support for our veterans is crucial,” said Jared. “Whether that be mental health services, job opportunities or simply showing thanks. I am happy to see that the City of Tulsa takes extra steps to make veterans feel at home and know they are not alone.”
The Veteran Employer Champion Survey encourages employers to continually take intentional steps to create a veteran-ready workplace to be recognized as a champion.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum spoke at the event, where he honored all 26 recipients.
“I am honored to recognize employers in Tulsa that are committed to our veterans by welcoming them home with life-changing career opportunities,” Mayor Bynum said. “Tulsa is a city that honors its veterans, and I’m excited to see that every year the list of our Veteran Employer Champions continues to grow.”
To become recognized as a Veteran Employer Champion, companies must meet six benchmarks, including:
• Veteran hiring and recruiting
• Veteran resource groups
• Onboarding or buddy programs
• Veteran programs and community support
• Veteran employee resources and/or support
• Veteran executive sponsor leading veteran strategies
• Guard and reserve employee support