The Veterans Health Administration’s new partnership with Salesforce will provide resources to support veterans and their spouses through their transition into the workplace.

Salesforce Military, Salesforce’s program for veterans and their spouses, helps veterans learn more about opportunities for skill development, career advancement and employment resources. The program provides free training in high-demand technology areas and certifications that will aid in finding careers.

“Our program is designed to be able to connect veterans and military spouses with the free training certification and resources and employment opportunities within the broader Salesforce ecosystem,” Jared Crain, an Army veteran and director of Workforce Development for Salesforce Military, said. “It just absolutely makes sense for us to be able to partner with the VA.”

Salesforce provides veterans and military spouses with training for specific technical training to bring together the “soft skills” that they already have to make them successful for the workplace.

“Service members are serving and providing amazing service to our country. When you serve other people, serving yourself and taking care of yourself isn’t necessarily your highest priority,” said Christine Eickhoff, health systems specialist for Veterans Affairs, who is overseeing the partnership. “We want veterans to benefit from all of the different resources that are available so they can utilize these resources to achieve all of their goals.”

Pedro Colon Jr., an Air Force veteran, has a background in aircraft maintenance and recruiting.

“The one thing that I knew when I retired was that I wanted to change career paths. I’m always the type of person that is looking for new challenges,” Colon said.

He used his GI Bill to go back to school and pursue a master’s degree in Information Systems Management. During his time at school, he received an email about Salesforce, but wasn’t interested. After receiving another email, Colon decided to look into it and was interested in the training programs for veterans and their spouses.

“I was looking for a community that understood my challenges, especially when separating from the military,” Colon added. “I knew I wanted to work in tech and so I started doing the trainings.”

Colon is now a Salesforce solution engineer at Liberty IT Solutions. Colon said Salesforce has trainings for almost every industry and it gives veterans the opportunity to work in fields different from their field in the military.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are so many veterans and military spouses out there that may not be aware of the program,” said Colon. “I think they would be surprised that the value that they add to this ecosystem could take them really far.”

Crain said that in the last 12 months, they saw half a million new positions within Salesforce Ecosystem, and they are expected to have 4.2 million new jobs by 2024.

“The demand and opportunity for success employment is absolutely there,” Crain noted. “It’s helping connect and provide a pathway for veterans and military spouses to connect more effectively to employers and that’s what our team’s doing every day.”

Abi Pepin is a summer intern for the Military Times covering evergreen stories and working on social media platforms.

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