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American Water Recognized by Friendly Forces as 5 STAR Reservist Friendly Employer

First utility to receive Friendly Forces top reservist employer rating and award

American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced today that it has been recognized by Friendly Forces as a 5 STAR Reservist Friendly Employer.

“American Water is honored to receive the Friendly Forces 5 STAR Reservist Friendly Employer and formally partner with this organization during Military Appreciation Month,” said Lori Sutton, Chief Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Officer, American Water. “We take great pride in creating meaningful opportunities for our veterans and service members and are honored to work with many of them in providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable water and wastewater services across our national footprint.”

American Water was one of ten companies in Friendly Forces’ inaugural class to receive the highest employer rating for guardsmen and reservists – a 5 STAR Reservist Friendly Employer award.

“At Friendly Forces, we have come to realize that there is a massive disparity in the benefits afforded reservists, even within the same sectors,” said Eric Evans, co-founder and CEO of Friendly Forces. “Although there is no real industry standard, there are clear-cut leaders who have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to their reservist employees through the implementation of generous leave policies that ensure our service members do not struggle to make ends meet when fulfilling military obligations for training, emergency response, or war. American Water is one such all-star, and we are incredibly proud to recognize them as part of an elite group of 5 STAR Reservist Friendly Employers. Their genuine passion and excitement for the work Friendly Forces is doing legitimately moved us.”

Friendly Forces, launched in 2022, identifies employers of choice for military reservists, makes meaningful connections between military personnel and organizations and offers professional development resources in support of veterans, guardsmen and reservists to help build successful careers. The organization strives to raise the national standard of support to reservists and direct reservists towards employers, programs, and resources that serve them best. Learn more about Friendly Forces here.

“Managing a civilian career alongside a Guard or Reserve commitment can be stressful to balance. The key to achieving that balance requires a community of Friendly Forces 5 STAR corporations like American Water, who are stepping up to create employment and financial stability for our nation's part-time warfighters,” said Captain Michael Rich, Battalion Operations Officer, U.S. Army Reserve and Senior Director, Supply Chain Operations, American Water.

Additionally, American Water earned the 2023 VETS Indexes 3-Star Employer for the third consecutive year and was also recognized as a 2022 Military Times Best for Vets Employers for its industry-leading efforts in hiring and supporting our nation’s military veterans.

Learn more about American Water’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity strategy here.

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,500 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Friendly Forces

For Reservists. By Reservists. Empowering Reservists. Friendly Forces is a grassroots organization that educates industry and the public about a frequently overlooked military audience comprising over 800,000 service members and approximately 40% of our total force. We identify, aggregate, and evaluate industry military leave data to direct reservists to employers who are demonstrably supportive of their unique skills, experience, and service.


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