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Cisco, North Carolina Partner to Empower Military Veterans

On Tuesday, October 20, North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory swore in retired U.S. Marine major general Cornell Wilson as the state’s first cabinet-level secretary of the new Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. Cisco’s Stan Roberts, a Research Triangle Park-based customer support engineer and former Marine wounded in Afghanistan, was invited by General Wilson to represent Cisco and the North Carolina veterans community.

Like more than 27,000 military service members in North Carolina who left the armed forces in 2015, Stan struggled to translate his military experience to the civilian workforce. Veterans have a strong work ethic, can make quick decisions under pressure, and understand the value of teamwork, but those skills don’t always resonate with hiring managers.

Stan is introduced by Governor McCrory, thanking him for his service and Cisco’s veterans work in North Carolina through the North Carolina for Military Employment (NCME ) program, which was launched in March of this year.

Stan is introduced by Governor McCrory, thanking him for his service and Cisco’s veterans work in North Carolina through the North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME ) program, which was launched in March 2015.

As part of the NC4ME program, North Carolina and Cisco are empowering veterans with the tools and skills to thrive in a connected world long after they’ve finished their military service. Earlier this year, we launched the NC Military Pipeline, a sophisticated online platform that maps military occupation codes to civilian career paths and job openings. This tool is helping veterans find jobs that match their skills, and the Cisco Networking Academy is helping them discover new passions that can lead to certifications and fulfilling careers in the IT industry.

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Training and Educating Latin America’s Future Workforce

More than 56 million people in Latin America rose above the poverty line between 2002 and 2011. Thanks to a thriving job market and rising wages, the middle class in the region grew by 82 million people in that time span, as more people discovered new economic opportunities in an increasingly connected world.

The explosion of people, processes, data, and things connected to the Internet — the Internet of Everything — has the potential to create even more growth and opportunity, for people and businesses alike. Consider this: by the end of this year, more than 15 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. And by 2020, this is expected to grow to 50 billion devices. All these connections will create new jobs, new businesses, and new career paths that don’t even exist today.

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In 28 Latin American countries, more than 180,000 students are enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses, developing skills in networking, security, and cloud technologies.

Unfortunately, right now there is an obstacle to realizing this potential in Latin America. We need more people with the skills to digitize our economy. According to an IDC Report, there will be a shortage of 296,200 computer networking professionals in eight Latin American countries this year, leaving more than one third of these jobs unfilled. According to the World Bank Enterprise Surveys, 36 percent of businesses surveyed in Latin America say they struggle to find an adequately qualified work force, a percentage higher than in any other region in the world. This skills shortage poses a challenge for the economic development in the coming years.

Fortunately, the Cisco Networking Academy is helping people develop the IT skills that businesses need to grow and thrive in our increasingly digitized world. In 28 Latin American countries, more than 180,000 students are enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses, developing skills in networking, security, and cloud technologies.

A number of these employers recently shared with us how hiring Networking Academy students has helped them reach their business goals.

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Cisco Awarded Top International Honor for Energy Management

On September 30, 2015, Cisco received the International Corporate Energy Management Award from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) for our global energy management program and our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.  We are very honored to receive this award and very proud of the work that we have done in setting aggressive targets and pursing high value projects to achieve the targets.

Cisco has set and achieved a series of environmental sustainability goals.  In 2009, Cisco met a goal we had set in 2006 to reduce business-air-travel emissions worldwide by 10 percent against a 2006 baseline. In 2012, we met a commitment to reduce all Scope 1, 2, and business-air-travel Scope 3 GHG emissions worldwide by 25 percent against a 2007 baseline. In February 2013, we announced a set of five new goals related to our operational energy use and GHG emissions. To achieve these goals, we approved $57.5 million in funding for 2014 through 2017 for the creation of a program called EnergyOps. The EnergyOps team is comprised of energy and sustainability professionals who identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout our global real estate portfolio working with local facilities teams, engineers and project managers.  Many of the EnergyOps team members are Certified Energy Managers through AEE.

 

Solar PV array on top of Cisco's data center in Allen, TX

Solar PV array on top of Cisco’s data center in Allen, TX

 

Since we launched the EnergyOps program, we have completed or initiated 344 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This has reduced Cisco’s energy annual use by 105 GWh and GHG emissions cumulatively by over 1 million metric tonne of CO2e. Examples of some of these projects include solar installations in the United States and India, numerous indoor and outdoor lighting improvements, and various types of upgrades to HVAC systems at many of our campuses, like our Shanghai location.

The multi-year EnergyOps program is not only helping us achieve our energy saving goals, but also manage operational expense,  reduce exposure to fluctuating energy prices, and reinforce our commitment to being environmentally responsible. We estimate that the projects we have completed or initiated to date will save approximately US$15M annually.

The AEE Awards are presented annually at the World Energy Engineering Congress to energy companies and professionals who have achieved international, national, regional, or local prominence in their fields.

Please read more about Cisco’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions at csr.cisco.com.

 

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Three Ways We Can Impact the Future of Society and the Planet

This blog is also featured on Huffington Post ImpactX.

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Cisco is committed to creating and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. In partnership with other global leaders, we’re tackling new issues every year, from closing the IT skills gap to creating new economic opportunities for individuals worldwide.

This year, nonprofit leaders, influential CEOs, and diplomats will come together at the CGI Annual Meeting under the theme of “The Future of Impact,” where they’ll collaborate to turn inspiring ideas into real-world results.

Together, CGI members have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Through countless public-private partnerships, we are preparing people around the world with the skills, technologies, and resources they’ll need to thrive in a connected world.

Through both our CGI commitments and our own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, we’ve learned what works to speed the pace of social change in communities worldwide:

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A Journey from WorldSkills to Cisco

closeupThis post was written by guest blogger Jean-Philippe Desbiens, 23, a Cisco Meraki consulting systems engineer. Cisco CCNA certified since age 17, Jean-Philippe is now CCNP certified and studying for his CCIE. He is involved in his community and is always eager to learn new technologies.

Did you know that every two years, a global competition for professional trades is held somewhere in the world? That event, called WorldSkills, happened last month in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

WorldSkills is an International competition that brings together young people from all around the world to fight for the title of “best of the world” in their trades. I was one of them, as I represented Canada in the category IT – Network Systems Administration in 2013 in Leipzig. I finished 6th out of 30 competitors and received a medallion of excellence. However, before getting in the world’s top 10, I had to follow a specific and special path.

Jean-Philippe competes at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany

Jean-Philippe competes at a prior WorldSkills event in Leipzig, Germany

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