In addition to initiatives like Hiring Our Heroes, the cable industry is looking to get more vets hired through training programs. SCTE and the SCTE Foundation have teamed with Comcast and Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) to train transitioning members of the armed forces, preparing them for careers in cable. As part of the initiative, Comcast entered into a pilot with GTPE’s Veterans Education Training and Transition (VET2) program to recruit and train two initial groups of up to 20 participants each for cable telecom engineering careers. The program uses the training resources of SCTE and will be funded by a grant from the SCTE Foundation.
What’s the key in training vets and preparing them for the cable workforce? “When our service men and women leave the military, they have many of the attributes that businesses need in an effective workforce, such as discipline, strong work ethics and an understanding of chains of command,” SCTE president and CEO Mark Dzuban told us. Through the training program, “we are helping them align their military training with the needs of business; we’re helping them with the transition from military to civilian protocols; and we’re enabling new careers without gaps in employment,” he said. SCTE is also working with CTHRA, NCTA and its members under the “Mission Media” umbrella, “but we are also addressing an issue that’s unique: the opportunity for transitioning military personnel to transfer their technical skills to meet the needs of our industry,” said Dzuban.
Carol Eggert, vice president of military and veteran affairs and Brigadier General (R), U.S. Army,
believed vets have “extremely valuable leadership experience and foundation skills in areas such as logistics, program and project management, human resources, communications, as well as the superb ability to adapt to uncertainty and change…We look forward to building upon these fundamental skills and introducing the technical skills that lead to successful careers at Comcast,” she told us.
Launched in 2013, VET2 maintains a 100% job offer rate for service members completing the program. Comcast said it is using the program to identify, engage and offer training and internship opportunities to transitioning service members. The seven-month process includes student selection and pre-certification, self-paced SCTE online training, and an internship that combines academics and practical experience. Up to 40 participants with multiple years of military experience in communications or IT-related areas will be selected.
Beginning in Q2 of this year, students in the first class will complete SCTE online training and certification for one of two tracks: Field Technician, which requires attainment of SCTE Broadband Premises Installer (BPI) certification, or Headend Technician, which requires attainment of SCTE Broadband TelecomCenter Specialist (BTCS) certification. Students who pass the required SCTE/ISBE certification examinations will advance to a second phase that includes additional VET2 training and Comcast internships during Q3.