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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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Cisco at New York Fashion Week in Support of Female Veterans

More than 1.8 million veterans are women – the highest number ever in American history. On September 8 Cisco participated in New York Fashion Week as one of several campaign supporters of Fatigues to Fabulous (F2F), a national campaign established to honor and support female veterans.

Photo Caption: Cisco’s Michael Veysey, Director of Veterans Programs (Left) and Patrick Finn, Vice President U.S. Federal (Right) join four of the veteran ambassadors who were honored at the event.

Many women veterans face serious challenges obtaining housing, employment training as well as continuing psychological and physical healthcare.  F2F’s mission is to initiate a national dialogue on the issues affecting military women as well as raise funds to support research and services. 

This event is one of several initiatives by Cisco to provide education, training and employment resources to help male and female veterans transition home and join the civilian workforce.

“Our veterans have made significant sacrifices for our country and face some unique challenges as they transition back to civilian life. Cisco is proud to support events like F2F in addition to other programs that put veterans back on a path to careers outside of the military; whether in technology or other industries,”  said Michael Veysey, Cisco’s new Director of Veterans Programs. Read More »

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Transitions: From Military Service to Civilian Life

August 29, 2011 at 7:33 am PST

“Successful transitions are about attitude, ambition and placing the mission first. As we have done our entire military careers; never accept defeat, never quit and never leave a fallen comrade and to make this point clear, this is why I am here today. I have been in your seat, I have experienced many of the emotions you are going through and can provide you hope and encouragement that the future is yours for the taking.”

Credit: Wiliam McMillian

Kim Ringeisen, Director of Engineering at Cisco, spoke last month at the Wounded Warriors Project graduation ceremony for the Transition Training Academy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. An 11-year veteran of the US Army, Ringeisen, was the keynote speaker for a 100 person graduating class of transitioning soldiers.

Also with him were Dale Robbins and Marissa Gaithers, members of Cisco’s Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Group.

“Soldiers today are very highly trained in their chosen discipline and in core values that the military instills on every soldier who has served, you have the competitive advantage, you have the spirit that many corporations seek.

“The Military is all about transitions, this is not new… You do not just arrive and you’re done, no! You will always improve your position, train and ensure your personal and team readiness, even if that team is you and your wife or partner. Do not let this transition rattle you, even though for some it will feel like deploying to a foreign land where nothing is familiar, questioning along the way, “will I make it?”, “is their hope for me?”, “how can I compete with the college grads?”, “ I’m in combat arms, but want to be a Network engineer, is this possible?”

“Keep in mind in that foreign land that you are entering, there are hundreds of thousands of veterans already there that can assist you in some form or another.”

About 27 percent of veterans age 20 to 24 are unemployed, according to recent statistics from the Labor Dept. Transitioning to civilian life is challenging. Ringeisen recounted his own experience: Read More »

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