Cisco Canada partners with Lifeline Syria and NPower Canada to help Syrian newcomers thrive in technology sector

TORONTO – June 14th, 2019 – Today, Cisco Canada is proud to announce a new partnership with Lifeline Syria and NPower Canada that will equip Toronto’s newcomer youth, including Syrian refugees, with the skills and tools they need to succeed in Canada’s competitive technology sector.

“Cisco is continuing to build the bridge to possible as we join like-minded organizations to support the successes of Canada’s newcomers,” said Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada. “This initiative is not only part of Cisco’s overall effort to enhance the skills and depth of Canada’s technology workforce, but also exemplifies our commitment to inclusivity and acceptance.”

This new partnership is part of Cisco’s long-term commitment to these two organizations. Over the next three years, 500 newcomers aged 18-29 will launch into digital careers through NPower Canada’s workforce development program. This includes 15 weeks of no-cost, intensive tech and soft skills training, industry certification, job placement and alumni services. Lifeline Syria will play a pivotal role in referring and bringing together young, deserving Syrian newcomers and refugees to enroll in and benefit from NPower Canada’s program, thereby connecting them to meaningful careers with some of Canada’s largest employers.

Cisco first partnered with NPower Canada in 2014 and the relationship continues to grow. In March, Cisco announced a $15M investment to secure Western Canada’s digital transformation – an investment that encompassed support for NPower Canada’s growth in Calgary, thereby enabling instructors to teach career-ready skills to students.

“NPower Canada is proud to partner with Cisco and Lifeline Syria to strengthen the diversity and inclusiveness of the tech sector by upskilling newcomer youth for rewarding digital careers,” said Julia Blackburn, CEO, NPower Canada. “We’re very proud that to date, 85 per cent of NPower Canada graduates have secured employment and/or enrolled in higher education within 6 months of completing training.”

Lifeline Syria is a leading community engagement initiative which was launched in June 2015 and incorporated as a not-for-profit in September 2015 in response to the ongoing humanitarian refugee crisis, to assist private groups to sponsor, welcome and resettle Syrian refugees as permanent residents in the GTA. To date, Lifeline Syria has facilitated and successfully completed processing of

sponsorship applications for 1,200 Syrian refugees. Having already welcomed 1,100 of them, Lifeline Syria is now focused on empowering these Syrian newcomers to upgrade their credentials and technical skills, obtain meaningful jobs and achieve economic independence, through partnerships including this initiative with Cisco and NPower.

“For Syrian refugees who have successfully reached Canada, theirs is an ongoing journey. They are eager to work to rebuild their lives and re-start their careers and “give back” to Canada,” said Mohammad Al Zaibak, President and CEO of Lifeline Syria. “NPower’s model, with Cisco’s support, has been proven to help newcomers enhance their careers, increase their incomes and integrate fully into Canadian society.”

About Cisco Canada

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

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For more information, contact:

Saro Khatchadourian

Senior Manager, Public Relations, Canada