Company Announces New Head of Military and Veterans Initiatives Role and Enhancements to Military Benefits Policies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 14, 2015 – In celebration of Armed Forces Week, Comcast NBCUniversal announced today that the company is committed to hiring 10,000 reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners between 2015 and 2017. The new employees will work in a variety of positions across all levels of the organization, including network engineering, technology, operations, theme parks and resorts, programming, customer service, marketing, human resources, and other careers.
From January 2012 through March 2015, Comcast NBCUniversal has already hired approximately 4,200 veterans, far outpacing the company’s goal to hire 2,000 veterans by 2015 as part of its ongoing partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. It is estimated that between 2012 and 2017, approximately 1 million active-duty service members will have separated from service, and Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to helping them find jobs as they enter the civilian workforce.
“We are so grateful for the impressive men and women who served our country to preserve our freedom,” said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Cable and former Navy SEAL. “The military teaches valuable life lessons about leadership, teamwork and commitment ― all skills which are highly transferable and we are excited to bring this new talent to Comcast NBCUniversal.”
In conjunction with this hiring news, Comcast NBCUniversal also announced the creation of a new role, called the Vice President of Military and Veterans Initiatives. The role will work collaboratively across Comcast NBCUniversal to provide strategic leadership to all aspects of programs and outreach engaging the military and veteran community. The role will report to David Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable, and to John Wallace, President of Operations and Technical Services at NBCUniversal.
As military employees depart their civilian life for training or deployment, there are often concerns connected to the impending leave process, transition to or from the work environment, and family. Comcast NBCUniversal is pleased to announce new enhancements to the company’s military leave policies to help ease this transition for our military employees and their families. Some of the enhancements include:
- Granting up to 15 days of annual military leave with full pay to support annual training obligations of drilling reservists and National Guard members,
- Increasing military leave supplemental pay to three years for employees on active duty,
- Providing the option of staying on Comcast NBCUniversal health and welfare plans during deployment, and
- Providing certain financial and job transfer assistance to an employee whose spouse or domestic partner is being called, reassigned, or transferred to active military duty in a different geographic area.
“I am delighted that we can support our military heroes and their families,” said William Strahan, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Comcast Cable. “When our military employees embark on training and deployment orders to protect our country, Comcast NBCUniversal wants them to do so with a level of confidence and comfort that the important matters in life are being managed. We are so proud and grateful for their service and look forward to welcoming them to our team.”
Significant progress has been made in employing veterans and their spouses or domestic partners; however, there is still work to do. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of the end of 2014, 5.3 percent of veterans remain unemployed. The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans remains higher than that of other veterans and the country overall — veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001, a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans, is at 7.2 percent.
Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to support our active duty military service members, reservists, veterans, and their families. Comcast NBCUniversal fosters a culture that supports veterans and reservists within its ranks. Veterans are invited to join employee resource groups where there is a community among veterans. The Comcast NBCUniversal VetNet employee resource groups serve as a base of support for members in several ways, including a mentoring program and events focused on growing the professional and personal development of veterans and their allies. Combined, the Comcast NBCUniversal VetNet groups have more than 5,000 members and are quickly growing. Additionally, MSNBC’s Taking the Hill is the only veterans-oriented show on a major news network and the only news show on national television anchored by a combat veteran.