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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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National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic 2013

There are so many things that make me proud of Cisco and its employees, but one of the most gratifying is the work we do to support our nation’s heroes – our warfighters and veterans. This week, nearly 400 of those heroes will take to the slopes, ride snowmobiles, try scuba diving, and enjoy rock climbing and other activities at the 27th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colo. from March 31-April 5.

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

The Clinic provides adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military veterans and active duty service men and women with disabilities. It is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and supported by other sponsors, including Cisco.

I look forward to this event every year. It is truly inspiring to share these experiences with such great men and women, hear their stories and see them take on new challenges. Personally, my favorite activity is snowmobiling, although I enjoy skiing as well. But by far the best thing about the Clinic is the opportunity to give something back to, and show our appreciation for, our nation’s finest. Read More »

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Technology Helps Reduce High Unemployment Among Post-9/11 Veterans

March 11, 2013 at 11:05 am PST

On March 8, NBCNews.com reported that the unemployment rate among post-9/11 U.S. military veterans was 9.4 percent in February, well above the national unemployment average of 7.7 percent.

Nearly 1 in 10 ex-service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is hunting for a job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The NBCNews.com story mentioned how Cisco is partnering with software developer Futures, Inc. to connect the 200,000 members of the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to civilian jobs through a free, online tool.

The IAVA Career Pathfinder is free online tool for U.S. military veterans

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Cisco Among Top 100 Companies Recruiting Veterans for 2012

November 7, 2012 at 11:29 am PST

Cisco Among Top 100 Companies Hiring VeteransU.S. Veterans Magazine has included Cisco on its 2012 “Best of the Best” list of Top 100 Companies Recruiting Veterans.

We are proud of this acknowledgement because in the last couple of years, we have increased our efforts to support transitioning military personnel, veterans, and military families, particularly in the areas of employment and education.

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Cisco Helps Military Veterans Find Meaningful Civilian Careers

November 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm PST

Thousands of military personnel will transition from uniform to civilian life in the coming years — about 1 million between now and September 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

A Cisco priority is to help these men and women find meaningful jobs and educational opportunities that match their skills and interests after their service to our country is over.

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