Cisco Receives Prestigious Ron Brown Award for Networking Academy Program
Cisco VP Tae Yoo Travels to White House to Accept the Award
By Julie Polito, News@Cisco
September 30, 2003
Cisco Systems executives made a trip to the White House on September 30 to accept the prestigious Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans presided over the event in which the success of the Cisco Networking Academy program was recognized. Cisco was one of two companies to receive this prestigious, privately funded award in 2003--housing loan company Fannie Mae was the other recipient of this award.
"Corporate stewardship is alive and well in America. American businesses know they are the stewards of capitalism and our economic system. I'm proud to present Cisco with the Ron Brown leadership award for its innovative Networking Academy Program," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
The Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership honors American companies for outstanding initiatives that empower employees and advance business interests and community relationships. The award is named for former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown--killed in a plane crash near Dubrovnik, Croatia in 1996who promoted emerging technologies, entrepreneurship, and the economic development of distressed communities across America.
The Conference Board, an independent panel of judges who select the Ron Brown Award winners, chooses companies based on several criteria. Among the criteria are commitment to corporate citizenship by senior executives, program execution, and impact on the community. "There was no question that Cisco was qualified for the award," says David Vidal, director of research for The Conference Board. "The Networking Academy program has strong executive leadership, qualified graduates and strong 'legs' to stand on. The Conference Board was more than convinced that Cisco meets the highest quality of corporate citizenship."
Tae Yoo, vice president of corporate philanthropy accepted the Ron Brown award from Secretary Evans at a ceremony in the Indian Treaty Room of the White House on September 30.
"Corporate citizenship and social responsibility are important goals at Cisco. I'm proud to accept this award on behalf of Cisco and the Networking Academy program," Yoo said. "Our corporate philanthropy programs are not just good for business. The Academy program is one of Cisco's corporate initiatives that strengthens and supports our community in this country and around the world."
The Cisco Networking Academy program teaches Internet technology skills to students in the United States and worldwide. The Academy program combines a Web-based curriculum with lab-based exercises to prepare high school, college and technical school students for networking and IT-related careers, as well as higher education in those areas.
"Cisco is dedicated to giving students important IT skills for an increasingly competitive global workplace," says Kevin Warner, senior director of worldwide education at Cisco. "Students gain confidence in the workplace and the industry gains strong employees. Everyone wins."
Since the program began in October of 1997, there have been more than 2.1 million course completions and current participants in 152 countries and all 50 states in Cisco's Networking Academy program. The Academy program prepares students to sit for Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification exam. Cisco Systems also partners with business, government and community organizations to train students for Networking and IT jobs in the public and private sectors. Academy graduates go on to fill technology positions in companies around the world.
Only a handful of companies receive the Ron Brown Award each year. Fannie Mae, which provides housing finance assistance to low- and middle-income families, also received the Ron Brown Award this year honoring their Employers Assisted Housing Program. Past award winners include SBC Communications, Wal-Mart Stores, GTE Corporation and United Parcel Service.
"We're honored to be a part of this ceremony and to receive this award," Tae Yoo said. "But what's most important is that the Networking Academy program and other philanthropic endeavors at Cisco continue to make a positive impact on our communities. That's what matters."
Julie Polito is a freelance writer based in San Francisco.
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