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Can Broadband Access Fuel Job Creation?

The message from leaders across rural America is clear — they want broadband access to the internet, and they’re hoping that by raising the awareness of their common cause they’ll see some near-term progress towards that goal (helping to fuel new job creation).

Howard’s prior editorial entitled “Can Broadband Reshape Rural Development” seemed to trigger some spirited commentary. But that’s not surprising, when you consider how well organized and vocal the rural stakeholder groups have been in the past.

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Youth: An Economic Disaster or an Economic Asset?

Making Education Relevant is the topic for the next debate in the Cisco-Promethean Education Fast Forward series. Having steered two children through 16 years of the US education system, I can tell you that THAT particular topic sparked a raging debate over the dinner table every night.  It went something like this: “Mom, why do I need to learn quadratic equations?” Or, the ever present simple“Why?”. While I am delighted to hear that academics and practitioners continue to debate education’s relevancy, I can tell you that, as a young mother, I wished someone had armed me with better answers than, “Because you have to.” Read More »

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Cisco Talent Fair: Helping Partners Fill Talent Gaps and Tips for Hiring the Best

IDC predicts a nearly 40% gap between demand and supply of technical networking skills by year 2012.

To help Cisco partners fill growing gaps in their own talent, Cisco partnered with CareerBuilder to set up three Cisco Talent Fairs across the Southern region of the United States.

“Business has grown by 50% over the past year and a half so we are really needing some additional help and resources to add to our staff,” said Lauren Decker, Senior Marketing Specialist at INX (a Cisco Gold and Master Partner).

This trend is true across the board for partners who are, “experiencing unprecedented growth and success in their business right now,” said Eric Thomas, Cisco Manager of Partner Operations. But Eric notes that the growing pains around finding talent is consistent with every partner he talks to.

The first Cisco Talent Fair was held in March in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. As a result of the event, partners who attended have already taken on 12 new hires with roles ranging from Account Managers and Systems Engineers to Project Managers.

More recently, two Cisco Talent Fairs were held in Texas (Houston and Dallas) to help partners find talent to fill Sales, Engineering, Project Management, Inside Sales, and Marketing roles in their companies. Approximately four hundred prospective employees attended the events, and as a result, participating partners now have a large pipeline of candidates.

So, what can partners expect from a Cisco Talent Fair? Check out the video highlights from the Cisco Talent Fair held in Dallas, Texas.

Are you looking to fill the talent gaps in your company? Cisco Channel Systems Engineer Hernan Hernandez shares his top tips on how partners can attract prospective employees. Read More »

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Jobs vs Skills: a conundrum based on myth?

The Economist held its annual conference on Human Potential last week in NYC. It could just as well have been named: ‘Job Acquisition vs. Job Skills: the Great Mis-match of our Generation,’ echoing the title of their special report by Matthew Bishop. For two days, panelists and speakers discussed this dilemma: “The abundance of jobs and the shortage of skilled workers.” Yes, I did say, abundance of jobs. Education took center stage of this conundrum many times, only to be quickly ignored because of the complexity of the solution. Like the Medusa with her head of many snakes, each education challenge begets a new challenge, which, in turn, becomes so intertwined that we run from it, screaming for relief. Read More »

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How Broadband Boosts Individual Productivity

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

We’ve shared our perspective about how broadband boosts the potential productivity of continents, countries, and municipalities. But never about how broadband boosts the productivity of individuals. Nor, who gets the most benefit out of broadband — the employee or the employer? As traditional vacation time begins in the northern hemisphere, let’s explore the upside potential.

The most recent Cisco Connected World Technology report, released last year, included two interesting findings. First, despite the downturn in the economy, employees value flexibility of work location more than salary. Second, the borders between professional and private time continue to blur, thanks to mobile connectivity to the internet.

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