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Cisco Announces Workforce Retraining Initiative to Drive Innovation, Economic Growth and Job Opportunities


Program Launch Highlighted by President Barack Obama at Speech in Warren, Michigan

SAN JOSE, Calif.– Cisco today launched a new Workforce Retraining Initiative (WRI) and pilot training program in Michigan that President Barack Obama lauded in a speech at the Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. WRI, built on the Cisco® Networking Academy®, is designed to create new job opportunities for U.S. workers and support the country’s ability to innovate, compete and prosper.
Key Facts/Highlights

* Cisco is partnering with community colleges, universities, health care leaders, workforce development leaders, the medical community, and certification associations to implement WRI.
* WRI is tapping into the Cisco Networking Academy, which has an extensive track record of providing high-quality education in support of technology-based jobs. The program currently enrolls 128,000 students in the U.S.
* The WRI in Michigan will focus on broadband, network security and health care information technology training – key components of the state’s strategy for re-invigorating its economy and igniting the job market and also critical components for economic growth nationwide.
* In addition to the funds already allocated to the Networking Academy and educational programs in Michigan, Cisco plans to invest several million dollars over the next few years to implement WRI in the state.
* Within one year, the program has the capacity to enroll 5,000 students in Michigan.

Michigan WRI Pilot Program

* WRI in Michigan will be available at all 21 community college and university locations where the Networking Academy curriculum is offered today. Courses leading to jobs in broadband, network security, and health care are scheduled to be available this September.
* WRI in Michigan will also include a new healthcare IT course that focuses on practice management, electronic health records, telemedicine, mobility, telephony, and the use and integration of information.
* The healthcare IT course will be piloted in three Michigan community colleges and one university initially (Henry Ford Community College, Oakland Community College, Macomb Community College, and Davenport University), with some able to enroll students as early as January 2010.
* For the WRI courses, Cisco will supply the curriculum content, the infrastructure and the community support for its delivery.
* Michigan is planning to expand its broadband infrastructure with the hope of bringing broadband to every corner of the state.
* Employment opportunities for graduates of the WRI broadband curriculum may include jobs in cabling support and fiber termination, ISP installation, help desk installation, and Internet Protocol telephony.
* Graduates of the WRI network security curriculum could be qualified for jobs as network security specialists, security administrators and network security support engineers.
* According to “The Economic Impact of Health Care in Michigan,” a June 2008 report by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and the Michigan State Medical Society, health care is Michigan’s largest single source of jobs in the private sector and will be a significant source of new jobs in the coming years.
* Graduates of the WRI health care IT curriculum could seek work as network administrators and electronic health record technicians for physicians’ offices, third-party contractors, hospitals, and application providers.

Supporting Quote:

* “Cisco is committed to helping our country address the current economic challenges by focusing on innovation, new opportunities and jobs,” said John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO. “Collaborative technologies will not only drive the next phase of economic growth for our future, but the need for a uniquely skilled workforce. We have a strong track record of successful public-private partnerships that have used technology to transform communities, cities, countries and individual lives. The Workforce Retraining Initiative will serve an important role by expanding training for well-paid, high-demand technology-based jobs.”


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