On-pack label manufacturer Yerecic Label Co. is one of only 15 employers nationwide to receive the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest honor for demonstrating exceptional support for National Guard and Reserve employees in 2010.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support of Freedom Award went to the New Kensington, Pa., company in late 2011, according to a news release from the Defense Department. Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates personally met with Yerecic’s president, Art Yerecic, to thank him for setting a good example for other employers.

The Yerecic firm was one of almost 2,500 employers nominated by Guard and Reserve personnel and their families to receive the honor.

At the time of the award, Yerecic had three employees actively serving in the U.S. military. Support efforts by the company included sending care packages and providing support to the employees’ families.

The annual employer award was instituted in 1996 at the suggestion of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization within the Defense Department to recognize exceptional support from the nation’s employers.

Yerecic Label Co. has been a maker of on-pack labels for fresh produce products and a variety of other goods for more than 40 years.