Cable joins the rest of the nation on Veterans Day to honor nation’s former military service men and women, and is firmly committed to celebrate and support veterans every day of the year, from hiring initiatives to providing low-cost broadband access, and more.
In our November newsletter, we’re taking a deeper dive into the veteran’s initiatives at Charter Spectrum with Dr. Matthew Cohen, regional sales VP, Spectrum Community Solutions, for Spectrum’s Texas region, is also co-chair for Spectrum’s Veteran Business Resource Group. Cohen is also a U.S. Air Force Desert Storm-era veteran. During his time in the service, Cohen supported nuclear and conventional weapon security in the U.S. and Middle East as a member of Air Force Security Forces.
Tell us about Charter’s commitment to veterans and what spurred the company to focus a number of initiatives on former military members?
It is important to Charter to have a strong diverse workforce, inclusive of veterans. Currently, about one in 10 Charter employees have a military affiliation, and the unique and diverse perspectives veterans bring to the organization have helped to make Charter a leader in the cable industry. Whether it is the mentorship opportunities within Charter’s Veterans Business Resource Group – a voluntary internal group that works to empower our veteran employees – or for Charter’s Broadband Technician Apprenticeship, which helps prepare transitioning veterans for roles within our Field Operations team, it is clear that Charter values veterans and is committed to investing in their development and growth within the organization.
As a veteran yourself, how have you found working in the cable industry to be a good fit for former military members? What skills have you found that former military experience bring to jobs in the cable industry that make them valuable employees?
Having a shared mission is vital to both the military community and to Charter. The telecommunications industry requires constant adaptability and innovation to complete the mission. Both in the military and in a traditional business environment, the ability to be creative and focus on solutions are vital. This ties in directly to the talents I believe can be most valuable within Charter. The ability to understand the need for change, and then work on the development of creative solutions and ideas that help propel the organization forward, is paramount. Time and time again, I have found that veterans adapt extremely well in many different types of environments.
Charter has had a number of programs targeting veterans for several years. What has been the impact of the veteran’s initiatives on Charter, as a company?
There is a strong connection between careers at Charter and transitioning service members, veterans, Guard, and Reserve members as well as the military spouse community. About 10 percent of our workforce has a military affiliation, and our commitment to veterans is visible through our internal and external programs and partnerships. We do this through a broad range of efforts to recruit, train, and retain veterans and military spouses. Charter’s Broadband Technician Apprenticeship program currently has more than 1,400 participants, more than a quarter of whom are veterans. These veterans can use their GI Bill Benefits in addition to their regular paycheck. Moreover, if they are seeking higher education and eligible, they can use their GI Bill Benefits for housing instead of education and then use Charter’s Tuition Reimbursement Program – with appropriate approvals – for education, providing an opportunity to optimize their earnings.
Charter also has established partnerships with military bases and veterans organizations such as Hiring our Heroes, Centurion Military Alliance, Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. Six percent of our annual hires have a military affiliation, and all of these organizations help us actively recruit members of the military community.