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Military Veterans Need Support from U.S. Companies

July 4, 2012 at 10:17 am PST

This post was written by Michael Veysey, director of Veterans Programs at Cisco

Since September 11, 2001, men and women in the U.S. armed forces have fought in our nation’s longest wars. This all-volunteer force has endured sacrifices that most of us will never know or experience—all to protect our peace and freedom. So, hiring a qualified veteran into our ranks is our chance to say “thank you“ to our nation’s heroes.

Hiring veterans is not only a good thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Their knowledge, training, and experience, often under extreme conditions, demonstrate that they can thrive in a competitive and dynamic business environment.

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Celebrating Memorial Day in the U.S.

May 28, 2012 at 8:25 am PST

Here in the United States, we are observing Memorial Day today which honors those men and women that have laid down their lives in our nation’s service.  Here’s a fact I only learned recently about why the flag is only at half staff until noon:

On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

Here at Cisco, our military focused employee resource group (ERG) is just finishing up its annual spring care package drive to troops overseas.  It is always an education to get Read More »

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Freedom of Choice

Part of what we should be happy with every day is learning something new. I strive each day for that, sometimes I over exceed, sometimes I may not recognize I learned something until days later. But here it is critical to maintain balance. I would hasten to add that each day it is even more critical to enjoy something. Like your family.

My friends and loyal readers would know I work from home. One of the powers of a Cisco powered network is to be there while being here. So I usually have the TV on in the background. To let me know that the snow is coming (finally?) or of other breaking news. But one of the things I watch (before my partners on the West Coast get in) is the local Fox morning show.

Here in Milwaukee they are running the local Auto Show. It is being held at the local convention center that has been renamed 10 times in the last six years (I exaggerate, saving that for a future blog) due to acquisitions. They, the local Fox station and Toyota, are doing a promo to give away a new car to a Veteran. So they’re down to the final six. Read More »

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Innovative Thinking – Helping Military Veterans Transition to the Workforce

Steve Urquhart knows the struggle well. When he got back from serving in the Army in 1997, he had to find a job. But making the transition wasn’t that easy. He shares the details in a recorded WebEx.

“When our soldiers come home, they face a daunting task. They are faced with trying to find work in a non-military setting,” Steve explains. “They have to translate their military skills to public and private sector jobs and that transition is extremely difficult.”

According to Steve, there is help out there -- including President Obama’s new Gold Card Initiative -- but much of it is bureaucratic and slow. In the meantime, these folks need jobs and they need them now. That’s why Steve started VETSourcing and joined forces with Darkhorse Benefits.

Together they have put together a program for helping Vets get the training they need to enter the workforce. They talked with us about it on a WebEx which is available on-demand. Focusing on skills that allow them to thrive in today’s professional landscape, the program focuses on the following:

  • Self-discipline, resilience and strong work ethic are essential
  • Teamwork and technology focus
  • Ability to grasp the big picture and stay mission focused
  • Telecommuting: getting the job done from anywhere

Watch this online meeting, to learn more about VETSourcing, Darkhorse Benefits and the program Read More »

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Veterans Corporate Technology Day at Cisco – Oct 18, 2011

September 19, 2011 at 9:35 am PST

On October 18, 2011, Cisco Systems will host Veterans Corporate Technology Day (VCTD) which brings U.S. military personnel, spouses and caregivers to Cisco campuses and exposes them to resources that are available as they potentially transition to the civilian workforce.

The multi-site event introduces mentorship programs and educational resources.  There will be a sessions on the GI Bill/ Vets Benefits and Futures Inc’s online career path and job resource center called “Pipeline.”  Cisco veterans and executives will share testimonials about their own transitions and attendees will have an opportunity to tour Cisco facilities such as labs, the Network Emergency Response Vehicle and the virtual Executive Briefing Center.

The event builds on the first Cisco Veterans Corporate Technology Day  held last year at Cisco’s Research Triangle Park campus in North Carolina.  The Veterans Enablement and Troop Support (VETS) employee resource group hosted 30 soldiers, spouses and caregivers from the Ft. Bragg Warrior Transition.  The day was a great success with many rewards for all parties involved. Click video below to hear from participants of last year’s event:

This year’s Cisco Veterans’ Technology Day will take place  on October 18, 2011 at the following Cisco locations in partnership with Wounded Warriors Project and Futures Inc.:

  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • Englewood, Colorado
  • San Jose, California
  • Herndon, Virginia
  • Lawrenceville, Georgia

Related Posts:

Cisco’s Inclusion & Diversity Blog: Transition from Military Service to Civilian Life

Cisco’s Platform Blog: Supporting New Opportunities for Veterans

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