Cisco Canada and the Ontario government have signed a 10-year agreement that would see Cisco Systems Inc. adding about 1,700 high-tech jobs to the province.

The jobs would most likely be focused on research and development, with the Calif.-based company eventually employing up to 5,000 people in Ontario, investing about $4 billion by 2024. The province will contribute about $220 million as its part of the agreement.

“Cisco’s investment positions Ontario as an undisputed leader in the global tech industry. We’re sending a message to the world that Ontario is the best place anywhere for business to innovate, grow and create jobs,” said Eric Hoskins, minister of economic development, trade, and employment in a statement.

“Today’s investment and the jobs it will create are part of our plan to create opportunity today and for the long-term.”

For Cisco’s part, the computer networking, communication, and collaboration company said it was attracted to Ontario because of the number of skilled workers in Ontario, its educational institutions, and a competitive environment for businesses.

“This announcement builds on our existing partnership and our mutual commitment to drive productivity and create new economic opportunities through innovation. Together with the Province we will create, high value jobs that will stimulate the economy,” said Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Canada, in a statement.

“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.”

Cisco already has a foothold in the province, investing in Ontario universities and building out its headquarters in Toronto. A sponsorship for the 2015 Pan Am Games is also in the works. The move could see Cisco bolstering job growth in a province where embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. has announced it plans to lay off about 4,500 of its employees worldwide.

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  • sheeva

    We had a great “made in Canada” network/communications etc. manufacturer/provider in Nortel. Those thousands and thousands of workers are now where? Will Cisco do what many American owned corps do, i.e. Stelco and the lot, by providing “some” financial benefit in a short term window and then once all processes are proved, move them to Mexico or Philippines or Shanghai?