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Cisco and Alameda County Office of Education Launch Job Training For Students in Juvenile Court School

Published 04-18-00

Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco Systems, Inc., and Alameda County Office of Education today announced northern California's first high-tech training program for the county juvenile court facility. Together both organizations are preparing the most at-risk teenagers in Alameda County to be successful in the field of information technology.

The Cisco Networking Academy Program at Camp Wilmont Sweeney Education Center in San Leandro, California, is one of Cisco's more than 3,500 learning centers worldwide. The educational program at Camp Sweeney is operated by the Alameda County Office of Education, which also runs other juvenile court schools for incarcerated youth in the county. The Networking Academy program is a comprehensive 280-hour curriculum, using a combination of web-based, instructor-led learning and hands-on exercises to train students in networking and information technology. Through this program, high school and adult students learn how to design, build and maintain computer networks.

"The Internet economy engine has been fueled by a well-trained workforce. Cisco's Networking Academy Program, made possible through partnerships with schools around the world, is helping tomorrow's workforce prepare for the future. More importantly, it serves as a successful solution to address the severe shortage of qualified workers," said John Morgridge, Chairman of the Board, Cisco Systems, Inc.

According to Bridging the Gap: IT Skills for a New Millennium report released last week by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), approximately 1.6 million jobs this year will require IT skills, with a shortfall of almost 850,000 IT workers in the United States. The Cisco Networking Academy Program prepares students to fill these jobs.

"Thousands of IT workers are needed by business in every sector," said Superintendent of Schools Sheila Jordan. "It is tremendously rewarding to witness the motivation and excitement of these young men in juvenile hall, many of whom have an opportunity for the first time to feel proud of their work. They know that if they can complete the training, and court commitment, they will be able to have a real future as a successful, contributing member of their community."

Jordan is committed to technology in education, and to meeting the needs of all students. "We serve the most At-risk students in the county. I am committed to all of our students and to innovative programs that bring relevance to education by linking the classroom to the workplace, particularly the high-tech environment where opportunity awaits those who are prepared."

Education officials, instructors and students alike have embraced the Cisco Networking Academy Program. Tony Aweeka, the Networking Academy instructor at Camp Sweeney said, "Students are so eager to participate in the program that they're going through it two to three times faster than we've anticipated. The Cisco Networking Academy Program is a favorite among the students, so much so that some teens were threatening to break the law again, just to stay in the program!"

As a result, officials at Camp Sweeney now permit Networking Academy students to return after completing their court-imposed sentences, to complete the program and take the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) exam. This certification is a ticket to a better life for most of these kids.

The Alameda County Office of Education operates numerous Cisco Academy sites in K-12 county schools, in conjunction with Cisco Systems and district offices. The county office also operates a Network Academy at its West Winton Avenue building, where it trains both teachers and students. The Cisco Networking Academy Program, launched in October 1997 in 57 high schools, colleges and technical schools in the United States. Today, there are more than 3,500 Networking Academies in all 50 United States and in 60 countries.

For more information on the Cisco Networking Academy Program, visit the Cisco Networking Academy website at To find out more about Cisco Networking Academies operated at Alameda County Office of Education sites, contact Sandra Williams, Director of Technology for ACOE, at (510) 670-4253.

Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at the Cisco Press Room.

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