The Rio de Janeiro City Hall, represented by the Municipal Housing Department, launched the first of its Praça do Conhecimento units in the Nova Brasília community at Morro do Alemão in Rio de Janeiro.

Praça do Conhecimento (in English, “Knowledge Square”) is a social project focusing on culture and education supported by the Cisco® Networking Academy® program, which seeks to provide workers and students with IT training.

Cisco’s engagement with Praça do Conhecimento will introduce the Nova Brasília community into a global education network serving over a million students in 165 countries, 25,000 in Brazil alone. More than 300 youngsters from the community are expected to receive Networking Academy training in the first half of 2012 alone.

The Praça do Conhecimento will offer two of the program modules: IT Essentials, which offers students training to be either a support specialist, help desk technician, network technician, hardware installation or software application support technician, and the CCNA® certification program for systems administrators, Internet specialists, network and data systems analysts, and computer network analysts.

The Networking Academy will also be involved at upcoming Praça do Conhecimento units scheduled to open in 2012 in other underprivileged communities of Rio de Janeiro.

This relationship with the Housing Department in Praça do Conhecimento restates the Networking Academy’s social commitment to training young people in underprivileged communities, giving them access to the dynamic and growing IT sector. The growing Brazilian economy and the major events scheduled for the next few years will be major drivers in networks professionals’ careers,” – Rodrigo Abreu CEO Cisco Brazil.

Cisco also supports the Networking Academy program at the Praça do Conhecimento with teacher training and educational material.