The pandemic and corresponding economic crisis was devastating for veterans and their families who were already struggling to find employment. Pre-pandemic, military spouse unemployment rates were approximately eight times higher than for all adult women, and during the pandemic, more than one million veterans filed for jobless benefits.
At Salesforce, we believe in building a workforce that better represents society — not just internally, but through our partners and customers. Veterans and military spouses offer unique skills that make them exemplary employees — military community members are fast learners, comfortable with ambiguity, adapt to change, and work as a team. This combination of skills is valuable in any workplace.
Partner programs like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes have been instrumental in helping veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment and connect that talented pipeline with partner companies to help grow, strengthen, and diversify their workforces.
Salesforce invests in Fellowship to support pandemic hiring
This week we proudly announced that after a successful pilot year, the Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Salesforce Fellowship Program will continue into 2021 and will now accept veterans, military spouses and transitioning service members. With this expansion, Salesforce has granted a total of $2 million to the program since the partnership began, sponsoring 230 fellows and helping them landing careers in technology.
Launched in 2020 as a response to economic uncertainty, the Hiring Our Heroes Salesforce Fellowship Program helps connect high-quality job seekers to employers in need of talent in a risk-free and comprehensive way. Those selected for the fellowship gain hands-on experience as certified Salesforce professionals that provides a competitive edge to help them prepare for a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.
In the program’s initial year, Salesforce fellowships saw an 87% job offer rate and an average starting salary of $87,000 for its graduates. Approximately 60 veterans and military spouses completed fellowships with 30 host companies in 2020.
“Hiring Our Heroes is honored to join Salesforce in delivering this innovative experiential learning initiative to equalize opportunity for the military community,” said Eric Eversole, Hiring Our Heroes president and a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Salesforce certifications provide a unique pathway to meaningful employment with high demand skills and upward mobility to any veteran or military spouse, regardless of previous experience. The 12-week program also supports employers in building skilled and diversified workforces as they recover from an unprecedented economic landscape. We are grateful for Salesforce’s commitment to workforce development and excited to blaze a trail to the future together.”
Salesforce Military offers community ongoing learning, certifications to help them succeed
At Success Anywhere World Tour in Washington, D.C. today, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff spoke with Marcellena Nieves, a military spouse who had dreamed of becoming a fashion designer but couldn’t make it happen because of military moves and caring for her son with autism. A couple years ago, Marcellena discovered Salesforce Military and started learning on Trailhead. She attended Dreamforce in 2019, and as she stood in the main hall had her ‘aha!’ moment. After Dreamforce, Marcellena doubled down on learning and connecting with her local Trailblazer community. She landed her first full-time role as a Salesforce admin through Salesforce’s Hiring Our Heroes fellowship in the summer of 2020 – even in the midst of the global pandemic. She is now a certified Salesforce admin and works as a business analyst at Accenture Federal.
In 2014, we launched Salesforce Military, offering a comprehensive solution to help the growing community of military Trailblazers upskill and reskill with in-demand technology and certifications to land meaningful careers in the Salesforce ecosystem.
At the heart of Salesforce Military is Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform that empowers anyone to skill up for the jobs of the future. Active duty military, veterans, and military spouses have the opportunity to learn in-demand skills on Trailhead and earn up to 13 Salesforce certifications for free.
To date, Salesforce Military has over 34,000 veterans and spouses using Trailhead and over 800 of these members are actively working in the Salesforce ecosystem. What’s more, 360+ partner companies have joined the Salesforce Talent Alliance, an initiative that connects partners to job candidates trained on Salesforce. Organizations that join the alliance guarantee interviews for individuals from Salesforce training programs, like Salesforce Military and Pathfinder.
“Salesforce Military is committed to helping transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses connect to career opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem as a top priority,” said Ann Weeby, head of Salesforce Military. “We’re excited to continue to grow and expand on the success of the Salesforce Fellowship Program in 2021 through our partnership with Hiring Our Heroes.”
Every year, thousands of veterans leave the military with unique experience and a desire to serve in full-time roles. With our partners and customers at our side, and along with programs like the Hiring Our Heroes Salesforce Fellowship, we hope to help ensure their future is bright. Learn more about how to get involved here.