Cable Operators

Charter to Hill: We Want to Expand Vet Hiring

MSO says it is looking to offer careers, not just jobs 9/27/2017 4:05 PM Eastern

Charter chief human resources officer Paul Marchand told a House Veteran Affairs Committee hearing audience Wednesday (Sept. 27) that the MSO is committed to expanding its outreach to veterans and giving them good jobs with benefits.

He said improving economic opportunities for vets was vital not just for Charter, but for the country, and noted that the company would be hiring 20,000 more employees by 2020.

Marchand said Charter already employs 12,000 vets, or 13% of its workforce. He said 4,000 of those had been added since January. He also promised to boost veteran hiring by 5% over the next three years.

Related: Charter Expands Broadband Technician Program for Veterans

Charter is repatriating thousands of off-shore call center jobs (the majority of those 20,000 new U.S. jobs) and has also taken steps to recruit veterans to technician positions through its apprenticeship program, including providing a four-week training course before they leave active service to give them "a taste" of a career with Charter.

The company has more than 1,000 vets enrolled in training programs on military bases in four states, and is working with the Labor Department to expand that to a national program in all 41 states across Charter's footprint, Marchand told the House members.

Marchand said charter owed it to veterans to hire them for a "career," not just a job, and one they could be proud of, offering benefits and the ability to support their families.

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He also said Charter wanted to go faster and further to reach more veterans through increased outreach with groups like the VFW and by making it easier to apply and get positions.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) said he was familiar with Charter's work to help veterans in his state and asked whether the apprenticeship is coming to his state.

Marchand said Florida is a very important state in its footprint and that while the program isn't currently offered there, Charter is working to roll it out. He noted that to roll the program out from five to 41 markets, it would need national certifications in some instances, and state-by-state certs in others, but Florida would be its next location.

Marchand said that veterans tend to have technical expertise and a process orientation, are fairly collaborative, and possess the character and work ethic "to work through things like hurricanes."

Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.) thanked Charter for stepping up with $1.3 million in aide after Hurricane Irma hit the state. He asked about the 20,000 workers and how Charter would achieve that volume of hiring.

Marchand pointed to the McAllen, Texas, call center the company opened earlier in the year as part of its ongoing mission to repatriate jobs, a mission touted by President Trump. As to how Charter would get those 20,000 employees, he said it has a "well-oiled" recruiting machine and attractive benefits.

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