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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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Government At Your Service, Anytime, Anywhere – Securely

President Obama is taking the US government mobile.

Recently, the President issued an executive order memorandum to his department and agency heads calling on them to embrace mobile technology to deliver more data, more efficiently. The order requests agencies to follow a new technology strategy called the “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People,” which includes the request for a road-map for responding to the technology transformations of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobile device proliferation.

Many organizations are already embracing mobile devices with over 95% of them allowing employee-owned mobile devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace according to recent research sponsored by Cisco. Not only do we expect our employers to allow us to use our personal devices, we want to gain access to new products and services—from the private and public sector organizations. So, yes Mr. President, “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” And –nice timing on this order, welcome to Silicon Valley-high tech land—I saw you fly in two week ago from the Saratoga hills!

Cisco shares this same sentiment of allowing people to use any device their way without compromising the organization. Cisco announced their answer to the BYOD (bring your own device)—with BYOD Smart Solution which starts with Cisco validated designs and professional services that can guide you from planning and design through day-to-day operations. It combines array of products starting with the core tenants of access points, security, controllers and network management. To address a key concern of the mobile experience, security, Cisco uniquely offers unified policy for secure access – Identity Services Engine (ISE) and next generation remote access, AnyConnect—for always on secure remote access. And most recently, Cisco also spoke to a “Your Way” mobile experience which includes the core components and then some –which allows for more efficiencies and collaboration resulting in more productivity. Mr. President and US citizens this is very achievable!

Citizens of US –I would like to hear your thoughts on gaining Federal services from your mobile device –which services would be a priority for you? Why? Do you have any concerns? What is your number one concern?

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Startup America Partners with Cisco WebEx and Kicks Off at SXSW

Cisco WebEx has joined the Startup America partnership — an organization to help accelerate the growth of America’s young companies.

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Tiny Mooresville Grabs White House Stage

Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, Office of Science & Technology, leads a Digital Promise panel of educators and technologists.

“So Dr. Edwards, can you explain to the audience what’s behind the success you’ve had at Mooresville, in implementing technology that has so changed students lives?” The question was posed by Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy in the Office of Science and Technology. Kalil was moderating a panel of distinguished educators and technologists – and the venue? A White House conference called on creating more access for technology in US K-12 schools.

I was not at all surprised to see Dr. Edwards on the White House stage on this beautiful fall day. In fact I saw all this coming when I first visited the tiny hamlet of Mooresville, North Carolina, back in April of this year. The more classrooms I was pulled into, the more kids I saw “leaning in”, the more the “buzz” reflected off the cinder hallway walls…the more I figured there was to the Mooresville story.

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