Returning to the workforce after serving in the United States military can be a difficult task. According to a Pew Research Center study, 27 percent of surveyed men and women who served in the armed forces said re-entry into civilian life was difficult.
That’s why Comcast officials from the Western New England Region, which serves Connecticut, Vermont, western Massachusetts, western New Hampshire and New York, pledged their support of the Military Community on July 19 by signing the Connecticut Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The document reaffirms Comcast’s ongoing commitment to hire and retain employees who are members of the National Guard and Reserve.
A networking event was also held at the event at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
Many current and former service members spoke at the ceremony, including retired U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Manuel Meneses, Commanding Officer of Naval Submarine Base New London, U.S. Navy Captain Paul A. Whitescarver and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jason Sechrist, local veterans employment representative for the Connecticut Department of Labor, among other high-ranking military officers.
Other veterans, who are also current and retired Comcast employees, attended the ceremony, including U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran Michael Parker, senior vice president of Comcast’s Western New England Region, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Carol Eggert, senior vice president of Military and Veteran Affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal and U.S. Navy Reserve Captain Will Baas, vice president of talent acquisition for Comcast’s northeast division.
“We recognize the talent that National Guard and Reserve members bring to our team and are committed to supporting them as they fulfill their obligations to serve our country,” Parker said.
Comcast’s senior leadership team, Military and Veteran Affairs team, VETNET Employee Resource Group, Connecticut senior military officers and Comcast military community employees also attended the ceremony.
“Comcast NBCUniversal has a long tradition of hiring and supporting veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses,” Eggert said. “Our company founder, Ralph Roberts, was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, and many of our current executive leaders, including Comcast Corporation Vice Chairman Neil Smit, also served in the military. We are proud to have thousands of members of the military community working across the country in all levels of the organization.”
Comcast’s signed pledge means the company will recognize, comply and honor the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act and provide managers and supervisors the resources to support members who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
The initiative also encourages hiring managers to employ National Guard members, reservists and veterans and their families during time of war and peace.
In 2015, Comcast committed to hiring 10,000 veterans, reservists and military spouses through 2017. The company’s military leave policies were also improved to benefit the Comcast employees enlisted in the Guard and Reserves.
Those enhancements included granting 15 days of annual military leave with full pay to support annual training, providing the option for employees to stay on Comcast health and welfare plans during deployment, and increasing military leave supplemental pay to three years for those on active duty.
Financial and job transfer offers are also available to employees whose spouse is being reassigned or transferred to military duty outside the area.