Each year, thousands of U.S. veterans return from the battlefield with exceptional leadership, technical and other skills they have acquired overseas. Even so, many experience difficulty finding a job, and return feeling overwhelmed by the high unemployment rate they are up against. Today, in a program to assist veterans in transferring their military experience into successful careers, the Michigan Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Cisco are teaming up to pilot IT training and certification programs aimed at connecting veterans with in-demand job opportunities.

Vets“We’ve got all these young people coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, have made incredible sacrifices, have taken on incredible responsibilities — you know, you see some 23-year-old who’s leading a platoon in hugely dangerous circumstances, making decisions, operating complex technologies. These are folks who can perform, but unfortunately, what we’re seeing is that a lot of these young veterans have a higher unemployment rate than people who didn’t serve. And that makes no sense.”

 – President Barack Obama

The pilot program will train transitioning service members, offering educational opportunities focused on the industry-recognized Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. vets1The program, modeled closely after Cisco’s partnership with the White House to retrain veterans, also includes collaboration with Governor Rick Snyder, Futures Inc., New Horizons, Pearson VUE, Pure Michigan, Davenport University and Capella University.

Reinforcing the value of Cisco certification and Cisco certified professionals for employers, a recent Cisco study measuring employer perceptions about employees with Cisco Certifications found that:

  • Almost 8 out of 10 of the managers “agree strongly” or “agree somewhat” that Cisco certified employees are more knowledgeable.
  • More than two-thirds of the managers “agree strongly” or “agree somewhat” that Cisco certified employees can take on more responsibilities.
  • Almost three-quarters “agree strongly” or “agree somewhat” that Cisco certified employees are more valuable than noncertified employees.

By partnering with the WDA, Cisco furthers its commitment to helping those who put themselves at risk for our country, leveraging the unique skills that military personnel have to fast-track them to the IT workforce.

To learn more, please visit: www.cisco.com/go/military


Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn

Vice President and General Manager

Cisco Services