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Reshaping the Manufacturing Industry Perception to Attract the Next Generation

January 28, 2013 at 7:44 am PST

In a time when the manufacturing industry is in dire need of new employees as more and more baby boomers move to retire, I find it interesting that more than 50 percent of 2011 college graduates are either jobless or underemployed (AP Report). To me the numbers don’t add up. Sure, at first glance, it’s easy to blame the poor economy for the unemployment rate, but try considering reasons beyond that. What are the real reasons many college graduates are unemployed? I don’t necessarily think it’s because there aren’t jobs, because in the manufacturing industry, there are plenty. Some have estimated there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that are going unfilled in manufacturing in the US alone; jobs that are good-paying and that can be the foundation and means for someone to attain their “American Dream”.

As I reflect on this information, a couple of things come to mind. Kids growing up today are expected to go to college and graduate. This is great, but over the past few years, we have seen more and more students going to college without a well thought out career in mind. They all have aspirations to be “successful” and have a “dream job” once they graduate, but many students are never really able to untangle what that dream job looks like. This can lead to four or more years of education along with college debt without a clear career path.  Read More »

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The Rise of the Progressive SMB [Infographic]

Throughout the recent years we have seen an uptake in a new group of SMB’s – the “Progressive SMB,” organizations that are increasingly encroaching on the territory of their larger competitors. But what makes a SMB progressive?

Check out the infographic below to see what you can learn from progressive SMBs, including how they are going against the grain and investing heavily in technology to improve collaboration, productivity and long-term business bottom line results.

Do you consider yourself a progressive SMB? If so, we would love to hear how you are investing in IT to gain a competitive edge.

 

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Summer’s Ending – But You Can Still Work Free From the Office

I always dread summer coming to an end.

Sure, it’s not like the old days when summer meant no school and running around free, but like most people, summer still makes me feel like I have more personal time and freedom. It must be the extra daylight.

Even if I can’t have the feeling of summer, it makes a huge difference to me if I can  work in different ways -- from home or even handling some to do items from the car.

One of the best things about the new, free version of WebEx, is that having a host account (yes, it’s free) means you can host a WebEx on your mobile. And that means I don’t have to be tethered to your computer.

Get your own free, basic WebEx account here.

In 2007, Cisco commissioned a study: Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce that looked at ways to really grasp how mobility was emerging. Of course, since then, “going mobile” has really become the norm.

In that study, they found:

Successful mobile workers tend to be resilient extroverts. They are open to new experiences and highly adaptable. And, contrary to the stereotype of the harassed and disoriented road warrior, they are supremely organized and independent-minded. With the right kind of tailored support, their productivity and adaptability make them superlative operators in an era of increasing demands and constant change.

In 2007, the Cisco study cited a prediction that “within two years, one quarter of the world’s working population will be mobile workers.” Not to freak anyone out but this was BEFORE Apple’s iPad was even released!

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Cisco Networking Academy: A Model for Both Workforce Training and K-12 Education

June 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm PST

No matter where you are in the world, you need networking skills to be competitive in today’s economy. In many countries, a lack of people with information and communications technology (ICT) skills is the biggest impediment to global competitiveness.

In the current issue of the Brunswick Review, Cisco Vice President of Corporate Affairs Amy Christen discusses how Cisco Networking Academy is helping to bridge this ICT skills gap by training 1 million people in 165 countries each year to build, maintain, and secure computer networks. Some of the facts Amy shares in her interview may surprise you.

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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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