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Founded in Northern California in 1984, Cisco celebrates its 25th anniversary on December 11, 2009. Cisco has offices in 171 cities and more than 38,200 employees in the United States and Canada. Similar to other world regions, North America has been struggling with an uncertain business climate and higher unemployment due to the economic downturn. As one response to the jobs issue, Cisco launched a new pilot jobs training program in Michigan built on the Cisco Networking Academy platform and designed to upgrade skills and create new job opportunities in the broadband, network security, and healthcare ICT areas for displaced workers.
Michigan Workforce Retraining
Partnering with educational institutions, certification associations, and others, Cisco has launched a pilot program in Michigan called the Workforce Retraining Initiative that will be available at all 21 community college and university locations where Networking Academy curricula are offered. By equipping displaced workers with broadband and healthcare ICT skills, the initiative will help prepare Michigan's workforce for the future by addressing the need for 21st century technical skills. Cisco plans to invest several million dollars in the program over the next few years.
Community College Connection
Community colleges are making an important contribution to workforce development efforts in the U.S. To help train tomorrow's workers, these colleges need to align their curricula, degrees, and certificates with new ICT jobs. Whether they want to go directly into the workforce or plan to enter a four-year institution, community college students can benefit from curricula that teach real-world skills using the latest teaching methods and interactive tools. To date, about 50 percent of all U.S. community colleges have implemented Cisco Networking Academy courses.
New York City iSchool Initiative
Launched in May 2008, the New York City iSchool initiative is helping to bring 21st century education techniques to the largest school district in the U.S. iSchool students work on interdisciplinary projects that emphasize practical problems. The iSchool students also have access to 37 advanced placement and other college credit courses available online. The students are showing strong results on the state-mandated Global Regents Exams, and they are completing state requirements far in advance of the required date.
More Effective Math Teaching
MIND Research Institute helps transform brain and learning research into applied education programs for elementary and secondary school students. MIND's approach to teaching mathematics concepts and building problem-solving skills has proven effective for students at all levels of academic achievement. Cisco's engagement began in November 2007. About 550 schools (111,000 students) have been enrolled in the MIND program to date, an increase of 100 percent over 2007 and ahead of expectations. MIND expects to have over 1000 schools enrolled by 2011. The average student progress through the software curriculum increased by 7 percent from 2008 to 2009, which was made possible by system and curriculum upgrades.
Virtual Earth Day
In FY09, Cisco held an online Earth Day Fair, inviting employees to log onto our Virtual Earth Day portal and engage in virtual conversations, training sessions, and other events. During one 24-hour period beginning April 22, 2009, we showcased Cisco technology, customer solutions, and thought leadership relative to environmental sustainability. Our online offerings included a mix of video and live presentations, with content relevant to each Cisco operating region. Participants included employees, Cisco customers, and partners.
A Passion for Social Progress
A passion for Africa turned into passionate philanthropy for Cisco employee Molly Tschang. After a trip to Africa, she got involved in Save the Children and an Empowering Girls and Women Delegation. Then, as a Cisco Leadership Fellow, she applied her business acumen to the nonprofit world by becoming executive director of NetHope, a consortium of leading international nongovernment organizations that shares ICT knowledge for public benefit in more than 150 countries.
Connected Urban Development
Connected Urban Development is a partnership among Cisco and cities around the world to create urban communications infrastructures that demonstrate how network connectivity can reduce carbon emissions in urban environments. By using network connectivity for communication, collaboration, urban planning, and other activities, the initiative can help change the ways in which cities deliver services, manage traffic, operate public transportation, and manage their real estate.
21st Century Schools Program
Supported by an $80 million investment, Cisco's 21st Century Schools Program in Louisiana and Mississippi began in October 2005. The goal of the program was to raise student performance and increase educational efficiency by deploying data, voice, and video technology in schools, by training thousands of teachers in new methods, and by linking the schools with educational resources. Jefferson Parish Public School System continues to lead Louisiana in the number of classrooms outfitted with cutting-edge educational tools.
One Million Acts of Green
In October 2008, Cisco and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) launched a grassroots sustainability effort called One Million Acts of Green. In just over 100 days, Canadians made more than 1 million separate pledges to help the environment in their own way, from changing light bulbs to planting trees to taking public transportation.
New LifeConnections Center
In November 2008, Cisco opened the Cisco LifeConnections Center, an integrated childcare, medical center, and fitness facility at our headquarters in San Jose, California. The new center brings together two of our existing employee benefits on the San Jose campus: fitness and childcare. It also adds an important third element, a comprehensive medical facility that includes a full suite of medical services. The facility received gold-level LEED certification for exemplifying sustainable building practices and providing a healthy place to work.
From Welfare to Network Engineer
Before earning her Cisco CCNA certification, Joy Miller was an unemployed single mother of three on public assistance. The Bucks County Housing Group in Pennsylvania gave her the opportunity to get back on her feet. Now, with her certification, she is working as a network engineer at a starting salary of over $70,000 a year. "I'm one test away from a Cisco CCNP certification and, for the first time in my life, I'm responsible for my life," she says. "I'm even building a home for me and my children."
1700-Mile Commute in Just a Second
Margaret Hooshmand is a Cisco executive assistant who lives in Richardson, Texas. She works for Marthin DeBeer, Cisco's senior vice president of emerging technologies, who is based at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California. Using Cisco TelePresence collaborative technology, she can "commute" to San Jose by simply pressing a button and establishing a high-resolution, virtual presence in the office there.
Renewable Power Purchases
Cisco has increased renewable power purchases since FY06 by buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and entering into green power contracts with various electric suppliers in the United States. Purchased RECs are certified by Green-e, an independent auditor of renewable energy products. In addition, Cisco currently purchases approximately 76 million kWh of green power through European green power suppliers.