FLATWOODS, W.Va., June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc.'s (NYSE: ACI) Mingo Logan Coal Company's Mountain Laurel mining complex has been named the 2011 Pro Patria Award Recipient for West Virginia, the highest award given to an employer by the West Virginia Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The announcement was made today at the state ESGR's awards luncheon.
"We are thankful for the commitment our Guard and Reserve employees have made to our nation as well as our company, and we are proud of their service," said Arch Coal President and Chief Operating Officer John W. Eaves. "We are honored to receive this high award."
Each year, the West Virginia ESGR Committee selects one large employer in the state as a Pro Patria recipient. That company is recognized as having provided the most exceptional support of national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
"Mountain Laurel Mining Complex supports its Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives," said Joseph Holley, West Virginia ESGR state chairman. "Mountain Laurel and its parent company, Arch Coal, exemplify employer support of the Guard and Reserve at its highest level. To merely comply with the law is an obligation we all share as employers, but Arch Coal far exceeds even the most generous expectations for employer support. As retired West Virginia State Adjutant General Major General Allen Tackett has often said, 'support for our service members is akin to a three-legged stool, coming from family, the unit and the employer.'
"Arch Coal has stepped up to the plate, providing support not only to the service members, but to their families as well," said Holley. "Arch, on a nationwide basis, has supported our troops with programs such as differential pay, continuation of medical benefits, personal family visits, care packages and continual contact with the service member while deployed. Arch Coal regularly acknowledges its service members' contributions to our nation's defense through in-house newsletters and gifts, such as computers, backpacks and other convenience items. When they return home, they are not forgotten. A warm welcome and a job await them. Arch Coal both respects and honors its service member employees, and for that, we are eternally grateful. I am proud to have Arch Coal in our community and encourage all employers to emulate its support."
Mountain Laurel was a semifinalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award and previously was honored with the ESGR Patriot and the Above & Beyond awards. The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense's highest recognition, given to employers for exceptional support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.
"Our citizen-warriors have multiple responsibilities," said Dave Runyon, general manager of Mountain Laurel. "We are proud of their service to our nation, and we take our role as their employer very seriously. There can be no 'land of the free,' without the sacrifices of the brave. Arch Coal stands steadfast behind our men and women in uniform and will continue to support them and their families as they perform their duties in the Guard and Reserve."
U.S.-based Arch Coal is one of the world's largest coal producers, with more than 160 million tons of coal sold in 2010. Arch's national network of mines supplies cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal to customers on four continents, including U.S. and international power producers and steel manufacturers.
ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through informal mediation. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation and, if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.