Cisco Canada is showing Canada’s West Coast some love, announcing a $15 million investment that the company says will focus on job creation and skills development.
Rola Dagher, president of Cisco Canada, was joined by Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at Cisco’s Calgary office, where they unveiled the first wave of commitments through Cisco Canada’s Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) program, a national-level initiative – Cisco has launched digitization efforts within 17 countries around the world – that the company says will support the job creation, skills development and technological innovation in the country.
“Getting the most out of the digital world of tomorrow means investing and preparing for it today,” said Dagher. “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.”
That foundation will contain new senior artificial intelligence jobs. While Cisco hasn’t specified how many jobs, it did point out that its cybersecurity R&D headcount in Vancouver and Calgary has doubled since 2016, and the company’s current 537 full-time jobs in the region, including Cisco’s global Security Business Group, represent the fastest growing segments of its security portfolio.
The money will also help strengthen Cisco’s Networking Academy partnership with YYC Net Lab, a local, volunteer-run not-for-profit organization, which aims to provide cost-effective access to computer networking education to immigrant and Indigenous women. Cisco says YYC Net Lab will receive new resources and instructor training focused topics like cybersecurity operations. NPower Canada, a leading youth-oriented charity that helps get underserved young adults into sustainable careers in tech, will expand its operations to the Calgary area as well.
“Cisco’s growing commitment to Canada demonstrates how our approach is working,” said Bains, alluding to the federal government’s ambitious plan to spur innovation across the country, spearheaded by the $950 million it’s earmarked for five innovation superclusters across the country.