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Charter to Hill: We Want to Expand Vet Hiring

Charter Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Marchand told a House Veteran Affairs Committee hearing audience Wednesday (Sept. 27) that Charter was committed to expanding its outreach to veterans and helping to give them good jobs with benefits.

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

Marchand said Charter already employs 12,000 vets, or 13% of its work force. 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.

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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.

Currently Charter has over 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 of Charter's 41 states, Marchand told the House members.

Marchand said they owed it to veterans to hire them to a "career" not just a job, and one that they could be proud of and support their families with, and that had benefits.

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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. He asked about whether the apprenticeship was coming to his state. Marchand said it was a very important state in its footprint and that while currently it is not offered, it is working to roll it out there. He pointed out that to roll it out from five to 41 markets, it would need national certifications in some instances, and state-by-state in others. But he said Florida would be where it would go next.

Marchand said that among the skills veterans have include technical expertise, process orientation and fairly collaborative, as well as character and the 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 his state. He asked about the 20,000 workers and how it would achieve that kind of hiring.

Marchand pointed to the McAllen, Tex., 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.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.