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Cisco Networking Academy Fields Dream Team for Cisco Live!

Today, I had the opportunity to speak with students of the Cisco Networking Academy. These students were selected to run the network at Cisco Live this year and run the Cisco Network Operations Center (NOC).

Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team at CiscoLive! 2013An innovative information and communications technology (ICT) education program, the Cisco Networking Academy provides a million students worldwide with the skills needed to design, build, manage and secure computer networks. This educations provides a pathway to ICT jobs, further education and globally-recognized industry certifications.

I’m very proud to say that many of the Networking Academy students are veterans. In fact, the Army at Fort Gordon, Georgia trains over 2,600 soldiers annually in its Networking Academy program. Read More »

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Lending a Helping Hand to Miriam’s Kitchen

I am excited to share the news of Cisco’s new partnership with Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, D.C., near my home. Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending homelessness in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by providing homeless persons with access to meals, counseling, clean clothes, medical care, permanent housing, and by ensuring they have the necessary support to remain in housing. Miriam’s Kitchen served 71,948 meals in 2012 and expects to serve 73,500 meals in 2013.

This is a wonderful organization doing good work for my local community. To help them feed and clothe even more homeless persons, Cisco has provided Miriam’s Kitchen with a $25,000 grant. The grant will help provide support for Miriam’s Kitchen’s meals and case management programs, which provide food and a range of services to thousands of people every day. Read More »

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Calling All Companies: Military Veterans Bring Dedication, Motivation, and Leadership

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post.

This week I had the privilege of attending an event at the White House where the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, unveiled a new program to give returning military service members a fast track to the training and certifications needed for high-demand IT jobs.

Through the IT Training and Certification Program, transitioning military personnel with prior IT experience are being given access to IT training, certification, and career-matching opportunities to help fast-track their job search. Once selected through the Joining Forces Initiative, service members are invited to register on the U.S. IT Pipeline, a cloud-based talent exchange platform designed by Futures, Inc., with support from Cisco. Service members can explore careers, take a quick assessment, and choose from a selection of IT certifications, such as Cisco CCNA, most aligned to their interests. After completing the coursework and passing the certification exam provided by select IT training and exam partners, the Pipeline will then match their military experience and qualifications to qualifying high-demand, civilian IT job postings.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 3, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

Cisco CEO John Chambers discussed Cisco’s participation in the White House IT Training and Certification Program, a federal initiative intended to help U.S. military veterans find jobs in IT. A number of media outlets from all over the country highlighted Cisco’s efforts alongside those of other well-known IT companies; check out stories in The Washington Post, The Examiner, Network World, Nextgov and American Forces Press Service, as well as a particularly partner-centric look from CRN.

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White House and IT Industry Partnership Prepares Servicemen and Women for the Workforce

Approximately 1.2 million armed forces personnel are expected to transition from the U.S. military to civilian life over the next several years, with as many as 300,000 in the next 12 months.  Many of these veterans will look to move quickly into the next phase of their careers and need to find fulfilling jobs that will enable them to build upon their military experience and support themselves and their families. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 10.1 percent jobless rate for post 9/11 veterans and exceeding 30 percent for veterans ages 18-24. It is imperative that, as a country, we come together to fix this. We must provide the training, certifications and jobs that our veterans have earned and deserve.

As an example of what we hope public private partnerships will do for our veterans who have given so much for our country, I look at Courtney Beard, a Cisco employee, who transitioned from active duty Air Force service in September 2011 with very little IT training. Coming from a family with a long history of military service, she knew at a young age that she would serve her country but she did not think much about what life would look like after she returned home. Highly skilled, and capable of excelling in the most difficult of circumstances, she still faced challenges finding a meaningful job aligned with her future goals; the process included resume critiques, regular attendance at job fairs, and participating in the Warrior to Cyber Warrior training and mentorship program with other veterans.

People like Courtney are the driving force behind the White House IT Training and Certification Program – an initiative to help transitioning military personnel make the difficult shift to the civilian workforce by obtaining the necessary training and certifications needed for high demand IT jobs.  Debuted today by First Lady Michelle Obama, the program – in partnership with Joining Forces and the President’s Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – will actively engage 1,000 transitioning military personnel in training, certification and career resources. The concept and platform behind the program was developed with leadership from Cisco and Futures, Inc. This public-private partnership exemplifies business and government working together to make a difference in our economy, our businesses and our country.

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