Each year, thousands of U.S. veterans return from the battlefield with exceptional leadership, technical and other skills they have acquired overseas. Even so, many experience difficulty finding a job, and return feeling overwhelmed by the high unemployment rate they are up against. Today, in a program to assist veterans in transferring their military experience into successful careers, the Michigan Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Cisco are teaming up to pilot IT training and certification programs aimed at connecting veterans with in-demand job opportunities.
“We’ve got all these young people coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, have made incredible sacrifices, have taken on incredible responsibilities — you know, you see some 23-year-old who’s leading a platoon in hugely dangerous circumstances, making decisions, operating complex technologies. These are folks who can perform, but unfortunately, what we’re seeing is that a lot of these young veterans have a higher unemployment rate than people who didn’t serve. And that makes no sense.”
“On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour in 1918, a cessation of hostilities was honored and WWI came to its unofficial end. Veterans Day (then known as Armistice Day) began as a commemoration to acknowledge the heroism of those who died and to show gratitude for the WW1 victory. Over time, it evolved into an opportunity for Americans to show thanks to all of those who have served our nation in one of the armed forces, and to perpetuate peace and understanding amongst nations.”
Today, as we all honor our veterans past and present, our own Pat Finn has posted a wonderful blog post highlighting some of our programs and activities that help us serve those who serve.
“All of this is to say that we greatly appreciate and are committed to our nation’s veterans, who have so bravely demonstrated their commitment to America.
From all of us, thank you for your service and your sacrifices.”
A sincere thank you to all of those who are serving or who have served in the US military. We live freely today because you put your life on the line to protect all that we hold dear.
“The Flag does not fly because of the winds that blow it,
The Flag flies because of each Soldier’s last breath blowing past.”
“For those who have fought and died for it,
freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.”
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him,
but because he loves what is behind him.”
- G. K. Chesterton
As some of you know, my holiday season begins with the Marine’s Birthday and Veterans Day. The holiday season has always been a time for family and gratitude. I always find it fitting that these two days to honor our heroes are in the same month as Thanksgiving. So it is with tremendous honor and gratitude that I wish our Marines a Happy Birthday and our Veterans, past and present, a Happy Veterans Day. Read More »
We also train veterans and military personnel for future careers in information and communications technology (ICT) through the Cisco Networking Academy program. More than 41,000 people have participated in Networking Academy courses on military base locations since 1997. And through tuition assistance and the GI Bill, veterans can enroll in Networking Academy courses offered at accredited community colleges and post-secondary institutions. Matt Heffler is one of many veterans who have found a second career thanks to Networking Academy.
In America today there is a huge untapped resource that could dramatically improve the productivity of companies across the nation. Renewable energy? Tax breaks? No… It’s the 1 million military veterans returning to the job market. One million individuals who understand teamwork and leadership, have a proven ability to learn quickly, a strong work ethic, dedication, and the ability to work under pressure.
Time magazine called this wave of returning veterans “The Next Greatest Generation.” If we can tap into this resource we can do much to fill the skills gap that our country faces and make progress toward a faster-growing economy. However, many companies have been slow to see this wave. Unemployment for veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 hovers at a shockingly high 22 percent.