At a time when job cuts are an unpleasant reality in the technology and manufacturing industries, Cisco Relevant Products/Services is about to go on a hiring spree. The networking giant is tag teaming with the Province of Ontario in Canada to accelerate the region’s status as a leader in technology innovation and a key player in the global research and development landscape.

Cisco and the Province of Ontario announced they have inked a 10-year agreement under which Cisco will add up to 1,700 high tech jobs with a focus on R&D within the first six years. The agreement also includes a framework with the potential to grow Cisco’s total Ontario employee footprint up to 5,000 by 2024, reflecting a potential total investment of up to $4 billion, including $2.2 billion in salaries alone. For its part, the Province of Ontario will provide up to $220 million in support of the total initiative.

"Canada continues to be one of Cisco’s best success stories globally,” said Rob Lloyd, Cisco's president of Development and Sales Relevant Products/Services. “Cisco has invested in retaining and growing our employee footprint here in Ontario, particularly in R&D jobs. Today’s announcement with Premier Wynne is another milestone in driving our business Relevant Products/Services in Canada and a testimony to our very positive relationship with the Province of Ontario."

Focusing on Economic Development

The multibillion-dollar initiative builds upon Cisco’s growing presence in Ontario, including investments in university chairs, planning for a new and expanded Toronto headquarters, the Pan Am Games technology infrastructure Relevant Products/Services sponsorship, and 'Smart + Connected' community initiatives. With this partnership, Cisco said it is working to harness Ontario’s skilled workforce, educational institutions and competitive business climate.

“Our plan to create jobs and grow the economy is focused on smart, forward-looking investments that build on Ontario’s strengths,” said Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario. “Today’s announcement is about supporting our talented technology workers. Together, we’re going to show the world what Ontario can do.”

The agreement with Cisco supports the Province of Ontario’s focus on economic development and job creation. By partnering with Cisco, province representatives say they are demonstrating a commitment to fostering innovation and, through research and development, bringing new technology to market.

“Cisco’s investment positions Ontario as an undisputed leader in the global tech industry,” said Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment for Ontario. “We’re sending a message to the world that Ontario is the best place anywhere for business to innovate, grow and create jobs. Today’s investment and the jobs it will create are part of our plan to create opportunity today and for the long-term.”

Creating High-Value Jobs

Government officials and Cisco leaders say they intend to continue focusing on initiatives to help Ontario realize a transformational vision, increase productivity, and drive world-class innovation and sustainable economic development.

Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Canada, called the deal a significant milestone which builds on an existing partnership and a mutual commitment to drive productivity and create new economic opportunities.

“Together with the Province, we will create high-value jobs that will stimulate the economy,” Kawale said. “This initiative will also ensure that Ontario continues to be a leader in the information and communications technology industry, with a vast talent pool representing the country’s next generation of innovation.”