SAP offerring free IT training with job placement

computer vet

It is a new year and some veterans back from Afghanistan and Iraq are getting an opportunity from a technology company that wants to help them find meaningful work.

SAP America is conducting its first training course exclusively for returning veterans. They’re learning to become experts in SAP products such as its Sybase database management systems, analytic tools, mobile software – about a dozen categories in all. Steve Lucas, SAP’s executive vice president for its DBMS and technology group, said the company’s goal is to train 1,000 vets in the first year of what it’s dubbed its Veterans To Work project.

The initial class is taking place in Dallas. Lucas says SAP is planning to conduct them in California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia over the next 12 months.

The class members don’t pay for their training. Instead, the company is giving them scholarships to the classes. Afterwards they will be qualified to work for SAP itself, or any of its VARs or other channel partners, or even at federal agencies and commercial customers who use SAP products. Lucas said of the vets, “When they finish, they’ll be certified experts. Their skill sets will be incredibly portable.” He also pointed out that the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than it is on average

Lucas said the genesis of Veterans to Work occurred a year ago. “We had some internal conversations on where we could get qualified people for new technology at SAP.” He said a lot of sales growth is coming from new products, and that’s created a gap between the demands of customers for technical assistance and what SAP can provide. “One group that was underutilized but had leadership skills was veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

He added, “With specific product training we’d have a resource to fill that gap.” He said several VARs and systems integrators have already expressed interest in snapping up the trainees.

To help identify veterans eligible to enroll in the training, SAP partnered with staffing company Yoh Services, which specializes in science, technology engineering and federal services. Together they created a web site at which veterans can apply for a Veterans to Work scholarship.

Initially, the six- to eight-week courses are taught in-person. Lucas said subsequent training will be offered online.

“I just want to see that first vet come out of this program and get a job,” Lucas said. “Not just a job, but a career. For me, this is doing something that will change this person’s life.”


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