May was designated as Military Appreciation Month by Congress in 1999, selected because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating our military’s achievements. The idea behind the month is to gather Americans around their military family to honor, remember, recognize and appreciate those who have served and those now serving and to know the history behind it all.
Cable continues to be a strong supporter of our nation’s military.
Military Appreciation Month isn’t just May for the cable industry, it’s a 12-month, year-round commitment. The cable industry – including both cable operators and programmers – is involved in a number of initiatives to show military veterans how much we value their sacrifices.
One example supported by TCA member companies is Mission Media, an initiative that debuted in September 2015 to recruit, hire and retain veterans within the cable industry. Elements of the program, guided by the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association, will cover all aspects of veteran recruitment and retention including: developing best practices for industry companies centering on the most effective ways to identify and recruit and retain veteran talent; training sessions for human resources managers in cable who are unfamiliar with recruiting and retaining veterans; virtual job fairs; an industry-wide mentoring program and a “fellows” program, both of which will serve to develop and retain talent; and partnerships with veteran-related nonprofits and government agencies.
Individual companies, in addition to participating in Mission Media, also have their own veterans’ initiatives.
- Comcast in 2015 created the position of vice president of military and veterans affairs and last year hired almost 2,4000 veterans, up 38 percent from 2004. It has committed to hiring 10,000 veterans by the end of 2017.
- Charter Communications has expanded its outreach to veterans looking for a job by partnering with Recruit Military, a full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm. In Fort Worth, more than 40 Charter Communications employees, including two Texas veterans, recently gathered in Fort Worth, Texas to improve the homes of two U.S. military veterans. The Charter our Community effort was in cooperation with Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas’s Operation Freedom, a project to improve the homes of 60 veterans in 60 days between Sept. 11 and Veterans Day. (https://charterourcommunity.com/inspiring-stories/veterans-help-fellow-texas-veterans/#sthash.jXFH4PBe.dpuf)
- Suddenlink Communications is proud of its 433 employees who have served in the U.S. Military, including 170 hired in 2015-16. Last year the company participated in seven Texas veterans career fairs and posted openings on hireveterans.com, civilianjobs.com and veteranjobs.com. The company also partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission in Lubbock for its Veteran Recruiting Day, speaking to veterans about opportunities at Suddenlink and explaining the application process. In honor of Veteran’s Day, along with sending letters of gratitude to employees who have served, in recent years Suddenlink has donated $10,000 annually to The Mission Continues.
- Time Warner Cable employs more than 4,000 veterans, and the company has a Veterans Task Force to examine ways to support its service men and women as potential and current employees and customers. VetNet, the company’s employee network, works internally to support employees and externally to serve the community.
In our state, the Texas Cable Association has partnered for several years with the Texas Workforce Commission to support the agency’s annual Hiring Red, White & You! statewide hiring fairs. TCA member companies have helped publicize the job fairs by airing public service announcements (PSAs).