CALGARY, ALBERTA – March 6th, 2019 – Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada, joined with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to announce Cisco’s $15 million CAD investment in Western Canada’s secure digital transformation.
The funding will support three main initiatives in Western Canada, focusing on job creation and skills development:
Cisco is further growing its team in Western Canada with new senior artificial intelligence jobs that will support the company’s Western Canada operations. This builds on the ongoing growth of Cisco’s footprint in Western Canada, which has seen Cisco’s cybersecurity R&D headcount in Vancouver and Calgary double since 2016, and a $7 million CAD investment in a new Calgary cybersecurity office.
Cisco is strengthening its Networking Academy partnership with YYC Net Lab – a local, volunteer-run non-for-profit organization, which aims to provide cost-effective access to computer networking education to immigrant and Indigenous women. Through a newly-deepened partnership, Cisco will provide YYC NetLab with resources and instructor training to deliver an expanded roster of courses – including cybersecurity operations, and beyond.
Also through Cisco’s Networking Academy program partnership, Cisco is supporting NPower Canada – a leading youth-oriented charity – by providing resources so that their instructors can teach 21st century, career-ready skills to students. This will support NPower’s growth in Calgary.
These initiatives reflect Cisco Canada’s growing footprint and presence in Western Canada, which already comprises:
537 full-time jobs including Cisco’s global Security Business Group (SBG), representing the fastest growing segments of Cisco’s security portfolio, based in Calgary and Vancouver.
$28 million CAD in the education, technical training, and career mentorship of over 47,000 students who have completed Cisco’s Networking Academy Program in Western Canada.
A combined $8 million CAD in funding and in-kind support to University Research Chairs and Innovation Centres at the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Regina, Calgary, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and MacEwan University.
The new commitments announced today for Western Canada are the first wave of Cisco Canada’s Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) program, which is a national-level initiative that will support the long-term economic goals of Canada – particularly job creation, skills development and technological innovation.
Through CDA, Cisco will fund and test “smart and connected community” innovations in areas such as the oil and gas sector, healthcare digitization, and environmental protection to identify what solutions will create real value for Canadians. Future projects under CDA will be developed and funded that utilize digital technologies as the foundation for advancing the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and workforce education, and enhance global economic competitiveness.
“Getting the most out of the digital world of tomorrow means investing and preparing for it today,” said Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada. “The commitments announced today build on our strong track record of creating successful partnerships in Western Canada that have empowered individuals to grow their careers, strengthened the country’s technology ecosystem and laid the foundations for a prosperous future for all Canadians.”
“Our government has a plan to build a new culture of innovation—one that will support Canadian ideas, drive productivity, and create good jobs for Canadians”, said Minister Bains. “Cisco’s growing commitment to Canada demonstrates how our approach is working. By equipping Canadians with the tools needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow, we are working together to position Canada at the forefront of the global economy.”
“Cisco Canada was a founding partner helping to establish NPower in Toronto in 2014,” said Julia Blackburn, CEO of NPower Canada. “We are delighted that they will extend their support to bring our high impact program to Calgary. With Cisco’s support, we look forward to launching low-income, unemployed, diverse young adults into careers in Alberta’s dynamic IT sector.”
“Cisco has been a key partner in growing the skills, knowledge and experience of Calgarians who are intent on achieving successful careers in the technology sector,” said YYC Net Lab’s Nick Jeffrey. “This continued collaboration sets the stage for us to prepare students from all walks of life for rewarding and engaging careers in technology. This is precisely the kind of talent that’s needed here, and we’re proud to be working with Cisco to help further grow Calgary’s local technology expertise.”
“As a global company driven to help citizens connect and benefit from the digital economy, we know delivering on our mandate means fostering the local talent, expertise and networks of the communities where we operate,” said Guy Diedrich, Global Innovation Officer, Cisco. “Cisco takes great pride in positively impacting communities, businesses and governments around the world, and we’re deeply excited to be enhancing our commitment to Canada by taking this bold new step.”
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