NCTA cable operator members will comply voluntarily with a suspended Federal Communications Commission Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rule as part of the industry’s efforts to improve diversity in employment, the association announced. The suspended rule encouraged recruitment efforts by broadcasting and cable companies. A resolution supporting voluntary compliance was unanimously approved today at a meeting of the NCTA Board of Directors in Washington, D.C.

The NCTA Board also approved the funding of six NAMIC scholarships to the CTAM (Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing) Advanced Executive Program at Harvard Business School, working with the National Association of Minorities in Cable. NCTA will send six NAMIC members to CTAM University during each of the next three years.

“Diversity is important for a number of reasons, but having a workforce that reflects the consumers it serves is particularly good business,” said NCTA President and CEO Robert Sachs. “The NCTA Board’s endorsement of these initiatives reinforces our industry’s commitment to improving diversity, a commitment that dates back nearly 20 years to the founding of the Walter Kaitz Foundation.”

The Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in February declared the FCC’s EEO rules constitutionally suspect, prompting the FCC to suspend enforcement of the rules. The cable industry had supported the FCC rules in a friend of the court brief. In today’s resolution, the NCTA Board adopted a self-enforcing version of the FCC rules.

Under FCC and NCTA guidelines, each cable operator commits to conducting at least two annual recruitment efforts as well as to maintain, in its Public Inspection file, details on its individual outreach program. Finally, the NCTA is instituting a certification program to insure compliance with the NCTA Voluntary EEO Guidelines. “Universal participation by our member cable operators will make certain this program is an effective priority,” Sachs said.

NCTA also announced the funding of six scholarships to the CTAM Advanced Executive Program, to be held at Harvard Business School on June 18-23. The CTAM program is in its fourth year, and offers senior level executives an intensive week of strategic marketing education. NAMIC will solicit grant applications. “Our scholarship initiative will help facilitate diversity within the upper management ranks of the industry,” Sachs said.

NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable industry in the United States, representing cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation’s cable television households. It also represents more than 100 cable program networks as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry. (www.ncta.com).

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