Cisco is a strong supporter of veterans, and we are committed to helping them transition to the civilian work force. On this Veterans Day, I’d like to thank all Cisco employee veterans for their service and recognize their valuable role in making Cisco a Military Times Magazine “2017 Military-Friendly Employer.”
Over the past year, we’ve focused on helping veterans find jobs in today’s digital economy through IT training and employment programs, as well as partnerships with local and state governments. Below, a snapshot of our major 2017 veteran initiatives:
Virginia Veterans Cyber Training Pilot (VVCT)
Organized by Cisco, this coalition of cyber-related training offerings from Cisco, Amazon Web Services (AWS), ISC2, Palo Alto Networks, and Fortinet is a free, online program for veterans who want to live and work in Virginia’s growing cyber industry.
“There are different opportunities offering various paths that include training and certification at no cost to veterans. Thanks to VVCT for providing real support to veterans. I am now CISSP certified! It’s truly awesome.” – Patrick Byrne, VVCT graduate
Since March, over 100 veterans have enrolled in the training, and a fourth cohort begins this month. Our goal is to train 200 veterans by the end of 2017, with the ultimate mission of connecting veterans to jobs in Virginia or fostering their continued IT security higher education.
Veterans Talent Incubation Program (VTIP)
VTIP offers free, online CCNA training, leading to employment at Cisco upon successful completion of the CCNA certification exam and a soft skills assessment. The program launched in August 2016 in Research Triangle Park (RTP) through a collaboration between Corporate Affairs, Human Resources/Talent Acquisition, and Cisco’s Services organization.
Meet Arodi Fernandez, a VTIP graduate who is now working for Cisco
Since then, 25 graduates from the initial two classes have obtained jobs as customer support or networking consulting engineers at Cisco, and nearly 25 graduates from the third class are expected to receive Cisco job offers.
USO Metro Project Next S.T.E.P.
The Next S.T.E.P. program at Fort Belvoir, Virginia’s USO Warrior and Family Center, allows veterans the opportunity to learn new technical skills and prepare for competitive post-military employment. Started in 2016, 91 veterans have obtained their CCNA certifications through the USO.
Cisco Networking Academy
Since the inception of the Cisco Networking Academy in 1997, over 73,000 military personnel on 22 military installations have been able to develop and advance their IT skills, better equipping them for their roles within the military as well as career opportunities. In the past 12 months, over 24,000 veterans have been enrolled in a Networking Academy course.
NPower, a non-profit organization and NetAcad partner, creates IT learning pathways for veterans and young adults from underserved communities. Last September, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and HR VP Jason Phillips welcomed 60 NPower veterans from the Bay Area to Cisco’s San Jose campus.
Chuck was honored later at NPower’s gala in New York City on October 11 for his efforts in promoting diversity and education initiatives.
Our employees are actively engaged in their communities. This November, the Veteran Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Organization (VETS ERO) will host Veteran Career Transition Days (VCTD) at four Cisco sites, to introduce veterans from the local community to career and mentoring opportunities.
Meet Pete Sawyer, a military veteran using his skills to give back to military members and their families
VETS ERO members in San Jose, RTP, Ohio and Herndon recently sent 246 care packages to deployed U.S. Service members. In April, RTP’s VETS ERO members supported the Valour Wounded Warrior games in Raleigh. VETS ERO members also installed Cisco-donated Wi-Fi equipment at five Fisher House locations—Las Vegas, Tucson, Milwaukee, Fort Bragg and Houston—where military families can stay at no cost while an injured veteran is receiving treatment.
IT Awareness Day
With the support of the RTP VETS ERO, Cisco conducted an IT Awareness Day in March for veterans interested in IT careers. Nearly 75 veterans attended, and in September, with Arizona State University, Cisco conducted an IT Awareness Day at ASU’s Tempe campus. Approximately 250 attended virtually to explore careers in technology.
Cisco Veteran Hires
As part of Cisco’s participation in the Veteran Jobs Mission, we regularly report on Cisco veteran hiring outcomes. In FY17, veteran hires at Cisco as a percentage of total hires (US only) was 3.8%, an increase from 3.2% in FY16.
Cisco’s veteran programs are focused on bringing awareness to the value our veterans bring to the private and public sector, and providing veterans with job skills training and employment opportunities.
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November 10, 2017 at 8:14 am
Fantastic work going on here – I am inspired and amazed at the progress Michael and his colleagues are doing to bridge the employment / training gap between our Veterans and Cisco. As one Cisco sales leader put it; “It’s not just something we should do, we have a responsibility to help our Veteran’s”.