During Military Appreciation Month, the Texas Cable Association and our five cable company members join with the rest of the nation to celebrate our nation’s armed forces and express our gratitude to troops and their families for their service.
But cable doesn’t confine its military appreciation to one day or one month. Cable companies are focused on training and hiring military veterans, supporting military community organizations, offering special programs such as low-cost broadband, and more.
Cable is among the nation’s industries that recognize that military veterans have valuable talents and attributes – technical expertise, collaborative skills and a strong work ethic – that can be translated to many professional positions.
- About 10,000 Charter employees have a military affiliation – about 10% of its total workforce.
- Comcast has hired more than 15,000 veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses, surpassing a goal of 10,000 hires set in 2015. It has pledged to employ 21,000 members of the military community by 2021.
- Sparklight and its associated Cable One brands employ more than 200 military veterans maintains a focus to hire additional former military personnel as the company continues to grow.
- More than 10% of Vyve Broadband’s workforce are veterans, with the company committed to increasing that number.
One of those veterans is Austin Bonds, a former corporal in the Marine Corps infantry, who works in direct sales of Suddenlink services in Bryan, Texas.
“My experience made me into a tougher but well-rounded individual,” Bonds said. “I can’t say that there’s a lot of similarities, but the Marines did help prepare me for the work force (accountability, networking, good work ethic).”
You can read a Q&A with Bonds here. Also meet some of the other veterans who work for Altice USA, including a video of Kenneth Bogie, operations technician in College Station, talking about his experience serving the U.S. Navy.
Vyve Broadband also is committed to recognizing its military veteran team members on its corporate website.
Cable One, which operates in Texas as Sparklight and Fidelity Communications, offers referral incentives to associates, which are increased for veteran referrals during Military Appreciation Month. The company has made a concerted effort to increase veteran hiring by partnering with Veteran Readiness & Employment and Wounded Warrior Project, as well as participating in Hire Heroes virtual career fairs for veterans and their family members.
“Military experience fits in well with our company culture, which thrives on a ‘Stronger Together’ philosophy and is committed to giving back to the communities we serve,” said Peter Witty, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary who served as an officer and helicopter pilot in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. “We are grateful to our veteran associates for the service and sacrifices they’ve made for our country, and we’re thankful to have them as a part of the Cable One team.”
Another veteran who forged a new career in cable is Dr. Matthew Cohen, regional sales VP, Spectrum Community Solutions, for Spectrum’s Texas region, and co-chair for Spectrum’s Veteran Business Resource Group. Cohen a U.S. Air Force Desert Storm-era veteran.
In a Q&A in November, Cohen discussed Charter’s veterans hiring initiatives and the synergy between military service and working in cable. “The telecommunications industry requires constant adaptability and innovation to complete the mission,” he said. “Both in the military and in a traditional business environment, the ability to be creative and focus on solutions are vital.”
Comcast’s commitment to the military has been an integral part of its mission since its founding in 1963 the late Ralph Roberts, a U.S. Navy veteran. In 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 1 by Military Times on its Best for Vets: Employers list after making the list for four prior years.
The company also is dedicated to supporting military community organizations, with more than 40 organizations supported and events sponsored in 2019.
One example is Dallas Fisher House, which provides housing for families of veterans receiving health care at Dallas VA Medical Center. Cynthia Garcia, a Telemundo assignment manager in Dallas-Fort Worth and a member of Comcast NBCUniversal’s local Veterans Network (VetNet) Employee Resource Group (ERG), took advantage of Fisher House services in Germany after her son, Adam, was fatally wounded while serving in Iraq.
More than a decade later, searching for a new project to support, Garcia decided to create a child-friendly space at Dallas Fisher House to serve young family members staying at the home. Comcast supported Garcia’s cause, and helped create “Adams Corner” in nine Fisher Houses across the U.S., with more installations planned.
In addition to focusing on veteran employment and community support, cable companies offer other benefits. For example, both Altice USA and Comcast have expanded their broadband adoption programs for low-income families in the U.S to include low-income veterans. Comcast estimates that nearly 1 million low-income veterans live in its service footprint, including the Houston area.