100,000 Jobs Mission
Cisco Veterans Enablement & Troop Support (VETS) exists to help integrate the experience, values, and knowledge of both veterans and active-duty servicemen and servicewomen. Cisco’s vision is to recognize, connect, and use the expertise of Cisco contributors to aid and support these personnel. This employee resource group (ERG) supports former and active military personnel and their families and friends through a system of comprehensive activities and outreach programs.
VETS brings together a diverse Cisco subculture to adds value to the larger organization by sharing the positive attributes of the group through education and quarterly internal professional development sessions. The three main goals of the VETS group include:
With hundreds of members, VETS has virtual participants throughout the United States and major physical chapters that are loosely associated with a geographic region, including:
This ERG uses Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx technologies for its virtual mentoring program and communication between mentors and protégés. VETS also uses Cisco Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE, powered by Cisco Quad) for internal collaboration and communication. Cisco IWE connects various chapters of the group within Cisco to increase collaborative efforts and outcomes.
What Makes VETS Most Proud
The VETS ERG volunteers focus on supporting veterans and transitioning active-duty personnel through several programs, including:
Some examples include the 100,000 Jobs Mission and regular Veteran’s Corporate Technology Days, which are similar to job fairs for veterans. Cisco Staffing (human resources) has also worked to increase the use of military talent internally. For example, Staffing takes these personnel in board-of-director (BOD) roles for local organizations that are supported by various outreach activities.
Many veterans at Cisco have been supported during their deployments, so, they understand the value of having support from home and for families who are awaiting the return of loved ones. Cisco VETS ERG volunteers donate many hours each year to help active-duty personnel and their families. These volunteers also help non-profit organizations that support these personnel. Assistance is provided through several programs. For example, the ERG participates in:
Another important initiative for the VETS ERG is to connect the various elements as they relate to:
For example, the group works with and serves on the boards of directors of many select nonprofits, such as:
VETS also works with corporations such as JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Google, IBM, CenturyLink, Atlas Airlines, and others. In addition, Cisco VETS ERG members are active on military advisory boards and state military foundations.
Some Specific VETS ERG Projects
100,000 Jobs Missionand U.S. Military Pipeline
Cisco not only participates in the 100,000 Jobs Mission, but the VETS ERG is taking one step further. Through the U.S. Military Pipeline, the group is training ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen in technology and easing the transition into civilian life. This mentoring program is initially being run by Cisco employees and will eventually include select partners.
Bagram Morale Network
The mountain-ringed Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan handles hundreds of tons of cargo, and thousands of air passengers travel through daily. Cisco VETS volunteers specially crafted a system that provides a respite for the war-weary and lonely personnel. The Bagram Morale Network has been newly fortified with Cisco routers and other equipment. The network now reliably connects thousands of U.S. Air Force employees with the life and loved ones they left behind. And Cisco Unified Video Cameras offer the thrill of seeing the faces and smiles of loved ones.
Multisite Veteran’s Corporate Technology Day
In October, the VETS ERG hosted the second annual Veteran’s Corporate Technology Day, a multisite Cisco event that connected five locations through Cisco TelePresence. Thirty veterans and their families from the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, joined the Cisco VETS ERG to introduce mentorship and educational programs. The purpose of this event was to:
Ways to Connect and Learn More
You can easily connect and learn more by joining VETS on Facebook.
Cisco also offers employee benefits such as culturally relevant leaves of absence and time-off programs for employees globally. Read About Benefits