RICHMOND, Virginia -- February 25, 1998 -- In a special announcement during the state legislative assembly, Lieutenant Governor John Hager today announced that the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has officially signed a Letter of Commitment with Cisco Systems, Inc. to provide high-tech training for community college and high school students all over the state. VCCS will establish regional Cisco Networking Academies at 27 community college campuses by Fall of 1998. These regional Academies in turn provide support and training for instructors at local Cisco Networking Academies in all 350 Virginia public high schools.
Cisco Networking Academies is a program to teach and certify high school and college students to design, build and maintain computer networks capable of supporting national and global organizations.
"We are pleased to begin this partnership between Virginia's premier public education and community college systems and Cisco, a leader in the high technology industry," said Lt. Governor Hager. "The Cisco Networking Academies program will help to further the amount of technical education and training available to Virginia students, assisting them in improving their career opportunities while increasing the number of technical workers available to high tech and other corporations in Virginia."
John Morgridge, Cisco chairman, who was present at the announcement today, said, "Cisco Systems has an historical commitment to supporting education. We are gratified that Virginia recognizes the value and importance of the Networking Academies program and are proud to be a partner of this state-wide implementation. Stimulating an interest in technology in students is a stepping stone not only to excellent jobs, but to lifelong learning."
"Virginia's community colleges stand ready to meet Virginia's technology training needs," said VCCS Chancellor Arnold R. Oliver. "All businesses in Virginia--without regard to location--are going to need workers skilled in managing computer networks. Locating these Networking Academies at community colleges brings another resource for students and businesses across the Commonwealth and allows us to provide accessible training opportunities in emerging networking technologies in all regions of the state."
The VCCS partnership is one of the first such state-wide agreements with Cisco Systems to provide networking training for the next generation of Information Technology workers. Cisco is currently working with representatives from education organizations or Departments of Education in all states to make Networking Academies training available nationally by the end of 1998.
The Cisco Networking Academies program, officially launched this past October, is designed to address head-on the current shortage of Information Technology (IT) 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 Information Technology Association of America study shows that there are approximately 190,000 unfilled IT positions in this country alone. Currently, there are approximately 66 Regional, and 128 Local 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 AcademiesCisco 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 www.cisco.com/edu.
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