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Cisco and Junior Achievement Partner on STEM Mentoring Event in RTP

Today, Cisco and Junior Achievement teamed up to host a Job Shadow Day as part of Cisco’s series of STEM mentoring events being held throughout the week. Fifty students from the Josephine Dobbs Clement Early College High School – a group of first generation college attendees, English as second language (ESL), and under-represented minorities and low-income students –participated in the day’s activities.

The event featured Rene Daughtry, Cisco Project Manager and Chairman of NCCU Advisory Council, who offered a keynote highlighted the job opportunities that the Internet of Everything will create for STEM professionals.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to participate in speed mentoring sessions,  tour the Technical Assistance Center,  experience TelePresence technology and learn about personal finance management during a Junior Achievement session lead by Cisco Finance employees.

This is part of a series of STEM mentoring events taking place all week at three of Cisco’s campuses – Richardson, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Silicon Valley.  Nearly 200 students and 200 mentors will participate in these events.

For almost two-decades, Cisco has made it a top priority to build a talent pipeline prepared to meet the challenges of a modern economy and a workforce that generates the next wave of innovation. And by 2018, there will be 1.2 million open jobs in the United States in the fields that make up STEM.

Cisco invests in programs from kindergarten to college and beyond that are preparing a diverse generation of talent for careers in STEM and is a founding partner of US2020, an initiative that connects STEM professionals with girls and students from underserved communities from kindergarten through college. By 2020, Cisco has committed that 20% of our US employees will provide at least 20 hours of STEM mentoring per year.

Every student should have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the rapidly growing job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math – and Cisco is committed to building the lifelong skills that will enable North Carolina’s youth to have careers in the workforce of tomorrow.

All in all, today’s event was terrific.  We had a great interaction with the students in each session.  Hopefully, we’ll see more than a few of them choose careers in STEM down the road. 

Cisco Announces $20,000 Grant 
for Girl Scouts’ GIRLS GO TECH Program

On behalf of Cisco, I’m pleased to announce that our company has awarded the Girls Scouts -- North Carolina Coastal Pines a $20,000 community impact grant to help girls from underserved communities attend its award-winning GIRLS GO TECH program.  Every year, the GIRLS GO TECH program helps 350 North Carolina girls participate in science camp and robotics programs from Research Triangle Park and the surrounding area.

The GIRLS GO TECH program does an incredible job of opening the door to opportunities girls in the central and eastern North Carolina area.  Cisco is proud to partner with the Girl Scouts to help ignite a passion for robotics and computer science in girls across the Triangle.  Cisco has awarded the Girls Scouts -- North Carolina Coastal Pines nearly $150,000 worth of cash and technology grants over the past decade.

The funds will help girls throughout central and eastern North Carolina to participate in two programs:

1.    The GIRLS GO TECH Science Camp, which provides middle school girls access to the science and computer labs at Meredith College, where they have the opportunity to complete computer-based workshops with Computer Science and other faculty at Meredith. The girls also take a number of field trips to technology-based businesses including Cisco, as well as NC State University where the girls engage in hands-on activities that allow them to explore technology and its many uses.  Many of the science workshops held on the Meredith campus will involve the use of technology (computers, advanced microscopes, etc.).

2.     The Girls Go Tech LEGO Robotics Program, which teaches girls how to use LEGO Education We-Do Robotics kits and LEGO Mindstorms technology (robot kits and software).

A recent Girl Scout survey shows, that after attending Science Camp, girls are 79% more excited about learning science, 85% better understand science and technology, 82% are interested in taking more science classes, and 67% show interest in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career.

Cisco’s Commitment to STEM

By 2018, there will be 1.2 million job openings in the United States in the fields that make up STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  However, without a major influx of talent, there will be an acute shortage of qualified applicants to fill these jobs.

Cisco is a founding partner of US2020, an initiative that connects STEM professionals with girls, under-represented minorities and low-income students from kindergarten through college. By 2020, Cisco has committed that 20% of our US employees will provide at least 20 hours of STEM mentoring per year.

As part of this commitment, Cisco also sponsored the US2020 City Competition, which challenged cities to develop innovative models for dramatically increasing the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects.  RTP was one of 7 national finalists of the City Competition, and was nationally recognized for its mentorship program.

The 21st Century workforce needs to develop a new set of skills to meet the challenges before our nation.  Other nations have already embraced the challenge and are moving toward building a digital workforce. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education and 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.

For nearly two-decades, Cisco has made it a top priority to build a talent pipeline prepared to meet these challenges Cisco invests in programs from Kindergarten to College and beyond that are preparing a diverse generation of talent for careers in STEM.

Bottom line:  Cisco is pleased to support the Girls Go Tech Program and help encourage girls to develop a life long love for science, technology, engineering and math.

Statement of Dan Lang on Nomination of Daniel Marti as U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Danny Marti as U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.  I welcome this nomination to this critical role in protecting American intellectual property and our innovation economy.   A thoughtful and balanced approach is needed to both deter copying of American innovation and prevent financial opportunists from gaming the system.   We expect that Mr. Marti, when confirmed, will be a champion of a balanced and effective intellectual property system.

Data Protection in the balance – EU Citizen Protection and Innovation

In the wake of the European Parliament elections, stakeholders and commentators have been reflecting on the likely impact on important dossiers they follow.  On data protection, we are pleased to welcome the reelection of the rapporteur, Jean-Philipp Albrecht, as well as key players Axel Voss and Timothy Kirkhope.  At the same time, we are sad to see Dimitrios Droutsas, Alexander Alvaro and Baroness Ludford leave the Parliament.

As the Parliament looks to organize itself following the election, work proceeds at full speed in the Council.  On Thursday and Friday this week, Justice and Home Affairs Ministers meet at the JHA Council to discuss the draft Data Protection Regulation.  Important topics on the table include the one-stop shop mechanism, international data transfer, profiling and the relationship between the data controller and processor.  All of these are essential issues to get right if we want to have a world-class framework that protects citizens and enables innovation.  In the video below, please see my perspective on the key issues in the draft Regulation.

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Statement of Jeff Campbell on U.S. Federal Communications Commission Decision on Open Internet Proceeding

Today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission marks an important milestone in the effort to develop appropriate rules for an open Internet.  We at Cisco strongly favor a balanced approach that at once protects end users and content providers from unwarranted blocking, as well as drives innovation inside the network by allowing new technology and business models to be deployed without onerous regulation.

We strongly oppose efforts to impose Title II telephone regulation on broadband.  The vibrant broadband market that we have today is the result of sound past decisions that have avoided placing the heavy hand of regulation on the Internet.

Cisco’s Visual Networking Index shows that the challenges of managing ever-growing amounts of Internet data traffic are just going to increase.  Our country needs policies that will drive new investment in broadband networks, not deter it.

It is important that the FCC recognizes the importance of all parts of the Internet ecosystem, helping to ensure that innovation will thrive.

Cisco stands ready to work with policymakers to achieve the right balance.