In celebration of Veterans Day 2020 in the United States of America, Huber salutes our Corporate, CP Kelco, Huber Engineered Materials, Huber Engineered Woods (HEW) and Huber Resources Corp (HRC) employees who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces.

Our veterans are a valued part of our workforce for their unique skillsets, experience and the diversity they bring to our Company culture. Outside of our plants and offices, Huber also seeks to support veterans in the communities in which we operate through the Huber Helps community engagement initiative.

HEW, for example, is a supporter of the R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment) program. Created by actor Gary Sinise as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation, R.I.S.E. builds specially adapted smart homes for America’s most severely wounded veterans and their families. Since the partnership began in 2017, HEW has donated materials, including AdvanTech® subflooring and ZIP System® sheathing, to help build 28 homes.

US Army Captain Greg Galeazzi’s R.I.S.E. home in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, included HEW products in its construction.

Huber also has opportunities to assist veterans through its strategic partnership with Habitat for Humanity International (Habitat).

Last year, CP Kelco employees from the plant in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, volunteered to help build a Habitat home in Tulsa for US Navy veteran Dora Juarez and her four children. Juarez was the first participant in Tulsa Habitat’s new Homes of Valor, a program that offers veterans the chance to become homeowners with an affordable mortgage and the financial tools to succeed.

Several CP Kelco employees and a Huber Family Ambassador were present at the October 25, 2019 dedication ceremony where Juarez received the keys to her new home.

Soldiers attended the dedication ceremony to honor the Juarez family’s new home.

As she marked one year of homeownership, we checked in with Juarez to see how she is doing.

“The security we feel from having something that is ‘ours’ is huge for our peace of mind,” she says.

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting daily life, Juarez adds that having a home with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms has been a blessing while her children are all home and attending school virtually.

“In the past, the five of us were pretty much just living on top of one another in a small apartment,” she says. “I honestly have no idea how we would have survived all this time in that apartment.”

Fortunately, her children do have an opportunity to get out of the house. As part of last year’s dedication ceremony, CP Kelco employees donated a basketball hoop, and her children have made good use of it.

“Every time the boys play basketball in the yard, I think of the volunteers that did so much for us,” Juarez says.

Throughout this first year, even with all the challenges COVID-19 has presented, the house has helped provide the stability Juarez wanted when she set out to become a homeowner.

“I know the pandemic won’t last forever, and that one day, we will all be able to get back to normal,” she says. “I know having a safe place to call home has set my children up to succeed in life.”

To Huber employees who have served—or are serving—in our armed forces, we salute and thank you on this Veterans Day.