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Calling All Companies: Military Veterans Bring Dedication, Motivation, and Leadership

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post.

This week I had the privilege of attending an event at the White House where the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, unveiled a new program to give returning military service members a fast track to the training and certifications needed for high-demand IT jobs.

Through the IT Training and Certification Program, transitioning military personnel with prior IT experience are being given access to IT training, certification, and career-matching opportunities to help fast-track their job search. Once selected through the Joining Forces Initiative, service members are invited to register on the U.S. IT Pipeline, a cloud-based talent exchange platform designed by Futures, Inc., with support from Cisco. Service members can explore careers, take a quick assessment, and choose from a selection of IT certifications, such as Cisco CCNA, most aligned to their interests. After completing the coursework and passing the certification exam provided by select IT training and exam partners, the Pipeline will then match their military experience and qualifications to qualifying high-demand, civilian IT job postings.

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ClearCaptions for Cisco Helps the Hard of Hearing

One in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear, and statistics suggest almost two thirds of these Americans are in the workforce. Trouble with hearing on the phone in the workplace can be stressful, and most audiologists recommend hearing loss solutions to their patients.

Similar to captioning on a television, ClearCaptions has developed a secure Cisco-certified captioning technology that makes Cisco Unified IP Phones an incredibly powerful tool for people with hearing loss. With ClearCaptions for Cisco,  employees simply press one button to hear and read their calls. Plus, it’s discreet: Only the employee knows when they are using captions.

Employers can make a profound improvement in employee productivity by providing reasonable accommodations that address this concern in the workplace. “My phone is central to my job,” says South Eastern Washington Service Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board President Melissa Ruth.

“Whether I’m on a conference call or talking one-on-one with management, my hearing loss can put me at a disadvantage. I used to miss names, numbers and have to ask people to repeat themselves, but ClearCaptions for Cisco allows me to see what I’m hearing on my phone, making me much more confident in the workplace — it’s been a very important accommodation for me.”

To learn more about Ruth and her experience with ClearCaptions for Cisco and workplace accommodation, watch this video:

Interoperability Verification Testing (IVT) certification provides assurance for organizations that ClearCaptions for Cisco has been thoroughly tested and verified to work with Cisco equipment, which can reduce integration costs, accelerate deployments and minimize the risk of failure.

Learn more about the Cisco Accessibility Initiative.

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Taking Carbon out of Commuting

May 1, 2013 at 10:27 am PST

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has become a Partner in the U.S. Department of Energy EV Everywhere Grand Challenge.

Cisco joined the challenge as we were already working to expand our existing electric vehicle charging capabilities in both our domestic and global locations.  We agree with the principles of the program to increase consumer access to plug-in vehicle (PEV) charging opportunities and potentially double the all-electric daily commuting distance for a PEV driver. By providing workplace charging, Cisco enables employees to choose a PEV, for sustainability or operating cost reasons, by effectively extending their range and flexibility.

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A Half Million Likes on Facebook: Cisco Networking Academy Uses Social Media to Engage and Educate

Hilal_ChoumanThis post was written by Hilal Chouman, social media strategist for Cisco Networking Academy

Since late 2009, Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, has been present on various social media networks. The earliest presence was on the rising social network of that time: Facebook.

In late 2010, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit its first 100,000 likes. After this milestone, the Facebook page continued its growth, following the growth of the number of students in the NetAcad program.

Today, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit a half million likes (fans).

Cisco Networking Academy 500K Fans

It is amazing how a social presence can accelerate in content and size, as soon as it grasps the right connection with the audience.

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Girls at 80 Cisco Offices Learn About Careers in Technology

April 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm PST

April 25 was International Girls in ICT Day, a global event held on the fourth Thursday in April each year to help inspire girls to consider a future in technology. The number of girls and young women opting to study technology-related disciplines is on the decline in most countries worldwide.

In only its third year, Girls in ICT Day continues to gain global momentum. This year, events hosted by governments, private sector companies, and nonprofits took place in more than 100 countries.

Cisco is committed to championing the important role a career in technology can play in creating far-reaching opportunities for women and girls. Eighty Cisco offices held Girls in ICT Day events in 60 counties.

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