News Release

Vice President Gore Praises Cisco Systems Commitment to Place Networking Academies in All Empowerment Zones by End of 1998

Cisco Networking Academies a "Model Program" for Training IT Workers
Feb 26, 1998

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- February 26, 1998 -- Vice President Al Gore today acknowledged and praised Cisco Systems' commitment to establish a Cisco Networking Academy, an innovative Information Technology education and training program for high school and college students, in all of fifteen "Empowerment Zones" by the end of 1998. In addition, Cisco Systems will establish Networking Academies in every Empowerment Zone high school that wants one by the year 2000.

The announcement was made during Gore's keynote address at the "Connecting All Americans for the 21st Century" conference, presented by the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications & Information Administration and Public Utility Law Project.

Cisco Systems' Chairman John Morgridge officially announced Cisco's commitment to the Empowerment Zone cities during his February 25 dinner address at the conference.

Said Gore, "I'm delighted with our efforts to match up people with skills and training, and I'm very proud to tell you about this Cisco commitment. Cisco's Networking Academies program gives kids a first-class ticket to a high-skilled, high-pay job."

Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, officially launched Cisco Networking Academies last October to teach and certify high school and college students to design, build and maintain computer networks capable of supporting national and global organizations. The Cisco Networking Academies program addresses the current shortage of Information Technology workers in the U.S. Students who complete the four semesters of specially developed curriculum and certification testing are ready to begin working in the IT field with an estimated starting salary of $35,000-45,000 annually. A recent Department of Commerce study shows that there are approximately 346,000 unfilled IT positions in this country

The Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community (EZ/EC) Initiative is a key element of President Clinton's job creation strategy for America. Its purpose is to create jobs and business opportunities in the most economically distressed areas of inner cities and the rural heartland.

Said Morgridge, "Cisco Systems maintains a strong commitment to education. The Cisco Networking Academies program is helping not only to increase the size of the available IT workforce, which is a major concern today to industries in all communities, but also to empower students - especially economically disadvantaged students - by teaching them valuable skills that will increase their opportunities for employment."

Empowerment Zones are located in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Bronx/Harlem, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas; Kentucky Highlands, Kentucky; Los Angeles City/County, California; Mid Delta, Mississippi; Oakland, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/Camden, New Jersey; and Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Currently, there are 194 Cisco Networking Academies in community colleges and high schools in 18 states and internationally: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia, as well as Malaysia.

Cisco Networking Academies is the latest in a series of programs from Cisco to benefit schools. For more information on Cisco's role in Education, see Cisco's Education Website at

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