By Jasmattie Singh
“Thank you for your service.”
I heard that phrase a lot in when I returned to civilian life in 2013 after 11 years in the U.S. Navy, and I appreciated it.
Like most returning military people, though, the phrase I most wanted to hear was “you’re hired.”
Fortunately I heard both phrases from Comcast, one of America’s most military-friendly companies — and I joined the ranks of the 13,000 military people recruited by our organization since 2010.
Comcast’s interest in veterans dates back to our much-loved founder, the late Ralph Roberts, a Navy veteran of World War II. The Comcast recruiters I met in 2013 understood the military and recognized the value of my years in the Navy as an Aviation Boatswain Mate Handler (ABH1/E-6) was relevant experience for building a career with a growing media and technology company.
In my role as a human resources manager at Comcast today, I’m part of Comcast’s continuing aggressive efforts to recruit veterans. And through my leadership role in the Florida region’s veteran-focused Employee Resource Group, Vet Net, I work directly with fellow veterans to help these valuable employees with issues that are best understood by fellow vets.
Through Vet Net in North Florida, we have partnered with non-profits such as O2O (Onboard to Opportunity), Blue Star Families, City Year, Habitat for Humanity, and Wounded Warriors, in an effort to give back to the community and showcase Comcast’s dedication and appreciation for all veterans. O2O, for example, is a non-profit group that works with transitioning vets who are 180 days out. The organization conducts “Career Mixers” which provide veterans a chance to meet recruiters and HR personnel in order to gain a perspective on what these companies have to offer.
As a Navy veteran and human resources professional, I’d like to celebrate Veterans Day 2017 with a message to South Florida employers. An estimated 1.5 million members of the military are expected to transition back into civilian life over the next three to five years. Make it your business to tap into this well of new talent.
Veterans are proud to bring a highly valued set of skills with us to the civilian workforce, including leadership, teamwork, collaborative thinking, and the ability to work in ever-changing environments and high pressure situations. Hiring veterans is not only the right thing to do, it’s a smart investment in the future of your organization.
To be a truly military-friendly company, though, requires more than recruiting vets. It means creating an environment where military people are encouraged to build careers and it means being supportive of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve while also maintaining a civilian career.
Comcast provides benefits specifically for often-overlooked National Guard and Reserve members that allow them to take annual time off to meet their military requirements, as well as supplemental pay and health and welfare benefits for up to three years should they be called to active duty service.
Just last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program cited Comcast Senior Vice President of Military and Veteran Affairs Carol Eggert, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment. Earlier this year, Comcast received the highest honor given by the Department of Defense for employer support of employees serving the National Guard and reserves.
Meanwhile, every additional veteran we hire makes Comcast a stronger company. Every company in America should take advantage of this opportunity.
To learn more, go to ComcastCareers.com/Military
Jasmattie Singh is Human Resources Manager for Comcast’s Florida Region in Jacksonville, FL