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!


Michael Veysey


Corporate Affairs