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Cisco Celebrates Heroes on Veterans Day

Today in the United States is Veterans Day, where we give thanks to the millions of veterans who have served our country in wartime and peace. Originally called Armistice Day in honor of the cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.


In June 2011, Cisco started a corporate veterans program focused on helping veterans find career jobs and establishing career training resources. The veterans program augments Cisco’s successful employee organization, the Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Organization (Vets ERO). The Vets ERO consists of eight chapters and supports service members, active and retired, here and abroad, by creating greater awareness of veteran causes and helping veterans connect in our workplace and their local community. Two key activities of the Vets ERO are their annual mid-November Veterans Career Technology Day  and mentoring.

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Cisco’s Be the Bridge Campaign Empowers Employees to Change the World

For the past 15 years, Cisco’s helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals as part of its global hunger relief efforts. We’ve changed millions of lives, and now, we’re expanding our impact beyond the global hunger crisis. Every day, a lack of shelter, access to clean water, and malnutrition cripple underserved communities. Things we take for granted, like the roof over our heads or a simple bottle of water, are a luxury to millions of underserved people around the world. Fortunately, you and I can make a difference, starting today.

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As part of Cisco’s new Be the Bridge campaign, employees can support social issues that are important to them or their communities. The campaign, which launched earlier this week, empowers employees to “Be the Bridge” for those in need by providing direct aid to people with uncertain access to life’s necessities. Between now and December 11, Cisco will match employee donations of US$50 or more to over 400 eligible non-profit organizations in 15 different regions around the world.

To kick off the campaign, Cisco campuses in San Jose, India, Texas, and North Carolina hosted volunteer events, where hundreds of employees came together in a collective effort to “Be the Bridge” and create social change.

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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.


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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Accelerate Job Creation through Social Incubators

This post was originally featured on Huffington Post ImpactX

This week, I’m excited to be a part of the SOCAP15 (Social Capital Markets) annual conference. This event convenes more than 2,000 impact investors, world-class entrepreneurs, and incubator managers, working together to create a better future through social entrepreneurship and impact investing. When you’re surrounded by the world’s leading social innovators, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the energy and the “what if” possibilities all around us.


For example, what if we empowered a new generation of global problem solvers to innovate rapidly? And then, what if we enabled them to use their innovations to bring creative ideas to market and launch startups that generate more jobs through a global incubator network?

In a recent blog post, I talked about youth unemployment—74 million unemployed youth globally in 2014 (International Labour Organization, 2014)—and a recent Gartner Study that defines the landscape of job opportunities related to the Internet of Everything (IoE). In order for countries to thrive in the new economy fueled by IoE and digitization, we must address not only unemployment but also job creation.

Today, I want to share the UBI Global Social Benchmark 2015 Report developed in partnership with Cisco Corporate Affairs. The goal of this benchmark is to better understand and measure the success of social incubators using over 40 key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success factors, such as the value created for the participating client start-ups as well as the economic and social impact.

According to the UBI report, social incubators have created more than 90,000 jobs over the last five years. Job creation will no doubt play a crucial role in addressing the global unemployment challenge, including jobs created within social enterprises.

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