Cisco Canada Welcomes Toronto Public Library to Cisco Networking Academy
Partners/Channel, Digital Business, Cisco Canada, Education, Collaborations
Partnership marks Cisco Networking Academy’s largest library relationship in the world to spur digitization
Toronto, Ontario – May 31, 2018 – In celebration of Toronto Digital Literacy Day, Cisco Canada is proud to officially welcome the Toronto Public Library to its groundbreaking Cisco Networking Academy program. Cisco Networking Academy’s engagement with the Toronto Public Library marks the program’s largest undertaking with a library globally.
The Toronto Public Library will partner with George Brown College to deliver entry-level Cisco Networking Academy Exploratory courses. The first three courses to be offered will focus on topics tailored for students with an interest in developing IT career skills, such as IoT, Cybersecurity and Linux. Registration for the courses launched in March 2018 and the program has seen over 200 students sign up to date.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the Toronto Public Library as the latest member of the Cisco Networking Academy family,” said Rola Dagher, president of Cisco Canada. “Bridging the IT skills gap continues to be a difficulty, especially in Canada, so it’s extremely encouraging to see a commitment by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library to address this challenge head-on. This new relationship is setting a global precedent and will hopefully inspire and kick start similar initiatives across the country.”
Audiences can get a first-hand look at the Networking Academy Lab at the Toronto Reference Library as part of today’s Toronto Digital Literacy Day. A landmark collaboration between the City of Toronto, the Toronto Public Library, Toronto Employment and Social Services, and over 35 local companies and organizations, there are 78 free events for all ages across 49 library branches in the city. Digital Literacy Day was initiated and championed by Councillor Michelle Holland, Toronto’s Advocate for the Innovation Economy, to help citizens become more digitally aware.
“Public and private partnership initiatives like this are essential collaborations required to make digital literacy more accessible to students of all ages,” said Councillor Holland. “This kind of vibrant cooperative engagement has helped make Digital Literacy Day a success and will help Cisco, Toronto Public Library and George Brown College to be successful too.”
“Digital access and digital literacy are critical for living and working in today’s knowledge economy. That’s why Toronto Public Library provides free, equitable access to all kinds of technologies, and the digital literacy supports needed to use them,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library. “We recognize that there can be barriers when it comes to accessing IT training and technology. By partnering with Cisco Networking Academy, we hope to expand access to valuable learning opportunities and increase opportunities for growth and success for library customers.”
The expansion of the Cisco Networking Academy builds upon the strong relationship that already exists between Cisco, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library. To date, Cisco has implemented Cisco TelePresence in 14 branches across the city. The installation of video conferencing facilities allows the libraries to extend programming from central locations to other branches, and assists in the realization of the Toronto Public Library’s overall digitization goals.
Cisco Networking Academy is a global IT skills and career building program that creates a much-needed pipeline of IT talent worldwide. The need for new IT talent is a growing concern in Canada where it is estimated that by next year, a lack of skilled workers will leave an estimated 182,000 IT jobs vacant.
In Canada, 21,000 students are currently enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy at one of the 211 high schools, postsecondary institutions and nonprofit organizations that partner with the program. Since its inception, 40,000 Canadians have achieved Cisco Certification Ready completions. Instructor training, tools and curriculum are all provided to partners at no cost. Worldwide, 7.8 million students from 180 countries have participated.
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