Creating a Networking Career Pipeline for Veterans

August 30, 2016 - 6 Comments

On August 2, 2016, Cisco launched the Veteran Talent Incubation Program (VTIP) at its Research Triangle Park (RTP) campus in North Carolina.  Twelve veterans from area military bases are participating in the program, which spawned from a discussion between Erika Plant and TAC Managers (Chris Phillips, Charles Armstrong and Chris Myers) when they volunteered at a Cisco IT Awareness Day in February 2016 at Fort Bragg.

With Erica Plant’s executive sponsorship, as well as the support of Scott Lawrence and other Services leadership support, a cross functional team was formed to create a Cisco Customer Service Engineer (CSE) job pipeline for North Carolina transitioning service members and veterans. This past spring, volunteers traveled to Camp Lejeune to complete the new selection process that included a video as part of the application and an interview assessment.

Upon successful completion of the program, VTIP participants will be accepted into the Services Academy CSE Program and will be required to complete the three-month Services Academy program, preparing them for a Global TAC or other Services role. For those who do not get a job offer from Cisco, they will have received CCNA training, an ICND 1 and 2 certification voucher, mentoring, job shadowing and corporate culture training.

The self-study aspect of the program launched on August 2, 2016 with an inspiring welcome by Mark Holloman, a detailed training program outline by Jonathan Nichols, tours of Cisco labs and advice from TAC Managers and CSEs. One participant has already passed their CCNA certification exam!

VTIP is the successful culmination of multiple Cisco teams to formulate an innovative idea, tap into a diverse talent pool, bring that idea into fruition in a matter of months and provide our veterans with valuable skills training in IT.

Thank you to the cross-functional core team driving this initiative; Angie Coolidge (TA Services), Carly Enarson (University), Nicole Learn (Services Academy), Jonathan Nichols (Services Academy), Gena Pirtle (Corp. Affairs), Griselle Paz (TA I&C), Dianna Teague-Lanier (Program Manager) and Dara West (Corp. Affairs).

Visit Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility and learn more about Cisco’s Veterans Program today!

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  1. Super cool!! Kudos to the Execs and cross-functionalTeams sponsoring this for US Military Vets. I see Camp Lejeune mentioned ok for Marines. Hopefully Fort Bragg in Fayetteville is also under consideration for RTP area ARMY vets to jump into the pipeline. Thanks again for setting up the Program!!!

  2. This is great and it serves a dual-purpose. Helping veterans find jobs as well as building an IT pipeline.

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  4. Great work on getting involved in this area of Cisco Corporate Responsibility!
    It is always refreshing to see Cisco and Cisco employees involved in giving back, this time to veterans who have given themselves to the country.

  5. A great opportunity, and an excellent program. I know that there is a lot of talent and preparation among veterans. Congratulations Cisco for such fine achievement!

  6. Congrats team on building a model to connect vets to jobs@Cisco. Good luck to the candidates!