VetForce: How Salesforce Is Creating Cloud-Strong Veterans

September 16, 2015 Jiordan Castle


In the Salesforce ecosystem, there’s a consistent lack of Salesforce-certified professionals, ranging from administrators to developers and business analysts. And every month, thousands of U.S. veterans transition from the military, but many lack the technology training and professional network to identify viable job opportunities in the civilian world. At Dreamforce ‘14, Salesforce launched an initiative to bridge this gap with VetForce, a platform where veterans can be trained, matched with mentors, certified, and ultimately placed in jobs through the VetForce community.

How the VetForce program works

There are 3 parts to VetForce: training, certification, and placement.

  1. Training. Any honorably discharged U.S. veteran can access the entire Salesforce training library — anywhere in the country, on any device — for free. Veterans work at their own pace with this on-demand training, which is designed to prepare them for work in the Salesforce world.
  2. Certification. After successfully completing training, veterans can apply for free exam vouchers in order to become Salesforce certified. In the tech industry, this certification demonstrates that trained veterans have the technical skills necessary to use Salesforce effectively for work.
  3. Placement. VetForce isn’t about helping veterans find a job; it’s about cultivating a career in the cloud. Salesforce works with top companies in the cloud to identify jobs and enable marketplace networking for Salesforce-certified veterans — including Appirio.

Appirio’s role in VetForce

At Appirio, VetForce is a program particularly close to our hearts; our CIO Glenn Weinstein served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years as a naval flight officer. And VetForce is a great example of the kind of program Appirio envisioned when we launched our Silver Lining program — as a way to channel our professional expertise and energy into important nonprofit efforts — shortly after the company was founded.

In fact, Silver Lining was inspired by the Salesforce Foundation’s 1-1-1 model. Because of this, Glenn says, “It’s particularly rewarding to partner directly with Salesforce on a pro bono project like VetForce. By improving the online VetForce member community by using the latest Salesforce technologies, Appirio is furthering VetForce’s mission to reach more military veterans. Our consultants — who we call Appirians — look forward to the opportunity to work on these kinds of pro bono projects, as a demonstration of our commitment to our communities.”

Mentorship through Silver Lining

Appirio — with our extensive experience in both cloud and crowd — has the unique opportunity to build out the community associated with VetForce. Through the Silver Lining program and the mentoring component of VetForce, Appirians will work as mentors to veterans. As veterans complete VetForce training programs, they’re assigned Appirian mentors who can help them fine-tune their Salesforce skills. Not only does this help improve the quality of their training, but it also makes both the certification and job placement process easier. Now military veterans transitioning to the civilian world can cultivate new careers and connections, and become an integral part of the Cloud Economy.

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