The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has launched a Corporate Alliance Program (CAP) designed to significantly increase the SCTE’s ability to create and deliver training and educational opportunities for engineering and operations professionals.

CAP also has the potential of expanding the Society’s membership. Memberships will remain individual, but employees of companies that participate in CAP will be eligible for discounts in both membership dues and training course fees.

Charter members of the new program are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Suddenlink. SCTE plans to announce initial vendor partners shortly.

The program is designed to enable operators of all sizes and vendors to jointly address industry issues, develop solutions and prepare for emerging technologies, and to dramatically expand access to training and education available through SCTE or its chapters.

If for example, a company wanted to launch a new product, it could work through the SCTE to set up a training program ahead of the launch. Operator participants with 1,200 or more SCTE member employees can work with SCTE to create customized training programs, the organization said.

Suddenlink has long encouraged all of its technical staff to achieve certifications through SCTE training programs. The company believes that improvements in J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings in the past were a direct consequence of ongoing employee training. The company also believes that participation in SCTE certification programs has also contributed to employee satisfaction and employee retention.

“The SCTE Corporate Alliance Program will contribute to the development and sharing of new training approaches and other opportunities for cable,” said Terry Cordova, senior vice president and CTO of Suddenlink Communications and chairman of the Board of Directors of SCTE.  “By bringing together two key ingredients—unparalleled resources and the member reach through SCTE Chapters—the program will create a unified learning and solutions environment that is tailored to the needs of the entire industry.”

Part of the idea of CAP is to be available to help other MSOs replicate Suddenlink’s experience.

SCTE president Mark Dzuban told CED that the benefits of the program should be the same for every MSO, no matter its size. He also said that the organization expects to expand beyond its traditional scope, in terms of who its members are, with programs that will be suitable for everyone from senior staff to customer-facing employees – customer service representatives, for example.

“The rapid pace of change in technology, consumer expectations and the competitive landscape is creating new opportunities for engineering and operations professionals,” said Patrick O’Hare, senior vice president of Field Engineering and Technical Operations for Comcast.  “The SCTE Corporate Alliance Program is a unified approach that will leverage the commitments of operators and leading vendors. The ultimate goals are to accelerate how training tools and products are created, to enable operators and vendors to advance the careers of their technical employees, and to keep our industry on the leading edge of telecommunications innovation.”

“For the companies that make up our industry, the Corporate Alliance Program provides an opportunity collectively to define current and future needs and to develop solutions that work for the entire industry,” said Bill Schankel, vice president, marketing for SCTE.  “By providing a common forum for all voices, we can ensure that the needs of all parties are aligned for the greatest possible benefit of our cable workforce members.”