Comcast promises more military hires locally
Comcast Regional Senior Vice President Tim Collins signs a document reaffirming the company’s dedication to hiring military personnel. At right, Melvin Bauman, Michigan chair for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, looks on.(Photo: Bill Bresler | staff photographer)Buy Photo
Since launching its initiative two years ago, Comcast already has hired 6,500 veterans, reservists, National Guard members and military spouses, including 83 employees in Michigan, officials say. The company offers job security to on-call military personnel when they are called to duty. It’s not simply an effort to do what’s right, said retired Brig. Gen. Carol Eggert, senior vice president of military and veteran affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal.
“We’re doing it because we understand the talent the military brings to us,” she said. Her remarks came before Tim Collins, Comcast’s Plymouth-based regional senior vice president, formally signed a statement reiterating the company’s pledge to hiring military employees. He sat next to Melvin Bauman, who chairs Michigan’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization, for the signing.
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Bauman said it’s imperative that on-call military employees not worry about their jobs when they are called to battle or other service to country.
“That’s one less thing for them to deal with,” he said. Bauman cited the Big Three automakers as another example of employers who are supportive of reservists and National Guard members.
Army Reservist Kyle Wendt opens the event with the Pledge of Allegiance. (Photo: Bill Bresler | staff photographer)
Some military personnel who work for Comcast donned their uniforms for Tuesday’s ceremony, which preceded a four-hour educational summit intended to strengthen the company’s already close-knit relations with reservists and National Guard personnel who, Eggert said, account for nearly half of the nation’s defense forces.
“The military provides an excellent channel of talent,” Eggert said, “but you have to cultivate it and understand it.”
Col. Shawn Harris, commander of the 63rd Troop Command of the Michigan Army National Guard, lauded Comcast for its support.
“We are always looking for ways to partner with this organization and ensure that our soldiers can find jobs,” he said. Eggert said military spouses, because they often have to relocate, can easily become underemployed. She said Comcast strives to keep them employed when they move or, at a minimum, offers a good severance package as they start anew. In a token of appreciation Tuesday, she handed out military coins to personnel attending the ceremony.
Col. Keir Knapp, vice wing commander of the 110th Attack Wing of the Army National Guard, said on-call military personnel bring skills, leadership, dedication, promptness and other traits to their jobs. In turn, he said, they require flexibility without fear of losing their jobs.
He said they could be flying combat one day “and showing up for work on Monday.”
Comcast veterans Staff Sgt. Brian Fox of the Indiana National Guard, Sgt. Richard Rec of the Army Reserve, Lance Corp. Aaron Clark of the Marine Reserve and ET1 Brian Howard of the Navy Reserve gather after the opening ceremony and document signing. (Photo: Bill Bresler | staff photographer)
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