At Charter, we are proud of our progress to date in attracting, hiring and retaining veterans as we consider it to be critical to our success in developing a high-skilled, diverse and insourced workforce to serve our more than 26 million customers in 41 states.
Today, we employ nearly 12,000 veterans which represents almost 12 percent of our total workforce and we’ve committed to increasing our veteran hiring by five percent by 2020.
We’re able to do this through a variety of initiatives and partnerships aimed at attracting and hiring men and women who have served in the armed forces at the end of their service or as they transition to civilian life.
One of our most promising strategies is our Spectrum Broadband Technician Apprenticeship Program which is why we are so pleased to announce has been nationally certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This certification gives us the green light to move forward with our newly certified program that will allow us to expand the certification from the five states where it is currently available (North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Missouri and Nebraska) to all 41 states in our footprint. And this certification means qualified veterans can obtain their GI Bill benefits while receiving a paycheck from Charter helping ensure a smoother transition to civilian life.
We will begin our expansion efforts in states in which there are military bases located near the markets we serve and where local and regional leaders have expressed an interest in the program. Charter is also actively pursuing the opportunity to work with federal policymakers to leverage the Valor Act and eliminate the need to go state by state in order to roll out our national program more quickly. Our goal is to complete the rollout of the Spectrum Broadband Technician Apprenticeship program across our national footprint in 2020.
Veterans bring a mission-oriented mindset that helps Charter across all lines of business, at all levels of the company, including our executive team. We recognize and value the skills these individuals develop during military service, and our goal is to help them build on their talents and translate them to a meaningful and viable career with us.
We are excited about what this will mean for veterans and also see opportunities to expand apprenticeships in other key areas of our workforce like engineering or sales. Spectrum customers will see even better service from us as a result of the high-quality employees we can attract through apprenticeship programs like the one we offer for broadband technicians. In the meantime, we are grateful for the new opportunities to work with key military bases and veteran organizations in states across our footprint as we implement the Spectrum Broadband Technician Apprenticeship program and welcome more veterans to our team.