Cool Companies: CareerForce

Careerforce Logo (Flip)

Jesse Martinez was the first EIR at Salesforce in 2016, how did that happen?

In early 2016, my non-profit, Latino Startup Alliance, did a partnership with Salesforce for Startups to provide our Latino-led startups with access and support to the Salesforce ecosystem.

With the relaunch of the Salesforce incubator in Fall 2016, supporting diversity was an urgent priority, and I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Managing Director of the Salesforce Incubator (now Accelerate).

Latino Startup Alliance had the excellent opportunity to host Salesforce for Startups and the Salesforce Incubator at our 1st Americas Summit 2016 – Bridging the Americas through Tech, where they spoke about their respective programs.

Luckily, I ended up having the opportunity to pitch my personal new startup venture (developed on top of Salesforce) to the Salesforce Incubator, and it was then that I was invited to work out of the Incubator space and along with being honored in becoming the first Entrepreneur in Residence as well.

The outcome of that experience is CareerForce, what is your company’s mission?

Actually, CareerForce was a pivot from the original startup venture I had pitched. By being at Salesforce, meeting people who worked at Salesforce and those from the global ecosystem, the growth trajectory, the creation of more jobs such as Admins and Developers, along with the need for more diversity, I had my own personal “A-ha” moment in January 2017 which became the foundation for CareerForce.

CareerForce – training the next generation of Salesforce Administrators that come from our diverse and underrepresented communities with a focus on those with non-technical/non-engineering backgrounds and those from Community Colleges.

  • Our Vision: To change the future of learning.
  • Our Mission: Connecting millions of diverse communities to career paths to jobs in the new global economy.

Silicon Valley places a high value on finding and hiring the “best” technologists, yet you are building a company that focuses on Salesforce admins, why?

A great question and I reflect on the work I have been doing both as a startup founder and under Latino Startup Alliance which I co-founded in 2011 as a Meetup group with six entrepreneurs in the Mission District of San Francisco, now we’re over 1K global. So empowering Latino tech entrepreneurs has been our mission since day one and working on tech inclusion with the White House (Tech Inclusion Summit) along with many great organizations and champions such as The Kapor Center, The Kauffman Foundation, CODE 2040, and numerous tech companies.

Many startups, companies, and organizations continue to train people to become coders, programmers, developers, software engineers across the globe. As noted in THE LEAKY TECH PIPELINE: A Comprehensive Framework for Understanding and Addressing the Lack of Diversity across the Tech Ecosystem: 21% of all Bachelor’s degrees in computing are earned by Latinx, Black, and Native American/Alaskan Native students, while just 18% are obtained by women.

However, we are changing the narrative – you do not have to be technical or an engineer to work in tech. We aim to remove this stigma. There several great career opportunities such as a Salesforce Admin, Business Analyst, and Customer Success at tech companies and we have lots of amazing talent within our diverse communities. There are career opportunities in Sales, Operations, Marketing, Legal, and Finance just to name a few.

Marc Benioff’s goal is to create five million apprenticeships, or training jobs, within the Salesforce network. Two out of the top ten jobs in the United States are within the Salesforce ecosystem (Administrators and Salesforce Developers). IDC estimates that the Salesforce ecosystem will have GDP impact of  $859 Billion by 2022.

For CareerForce, it’s our personal passion for Creating Awareness, Providing the Training and Certification and the Placement of these students at companies that provide an enhanced entry-level path—as well as a competitive starting salary. The Salesforce Ecosystem is our first step and focus.

You just launched CareerForce for Moms, why?

The first CareerForce cohort was launched in July of 2017. We started with a funnel of sixty diverse students, thirty students showed up day 1 and twenty-one finished our curriculum. Out of the twenty-one, we have eleven certified Salesforce Administrators. One of our students earned an internship with our strategic partner Salesforce Trailhead Team, one is consulting with SaaScend, and another is at Frontdesk Anywhere. Others are volunteering their time and skills with CareerForce, and we have one mom who will be training more students with one of our strategic partners: Mom Relaunch.

We are really excited to share that under our CareerForce for Moms in partnership with Mom Relaunch and Salesforce Trailhead, we will be launching our first cohort of twelve moms in March. We hosted the first Info Session for Mothers Returning to the Workforce by Salesforce Trailhead + Mom Relaunch + CareerForce for Moms 2018  in which we had 100+ RSVPs, 60+ moms showed up to Salesforce West on a rainy day, and our global database has grown to over 400+ moms. There is a worldwide need for mothers returning to the workforce, and our goal is to conduct more info sessions across the U.S. in 2018.

Also, under our thesis of diverse and under-supported communities, our CareerForce Roadmap encompasses supporting the following:

  1. Dreamers
  2. Puerto Rico
  3. Those over 50+
  4. Formerly incarcerated
  5. Native Americans
  6. Vocational Pathways for public high school students

Like many start-ups, you are working out of a co-working space, what are the pros and cons of building a company amongst strangers?

I’m currently working out of the Impact Hub San Francisco (located in the Mission District) who have been great friends and advocates since 2012. Co-working allows you meet others, leverage skills, and resources, attend events, while also allowing you to foster new friendships. The cons, not very many—maybe too busy and/or loud if you are trying to get into a “work zone.”

How do you and your team have fun?

Currently, I am a solo founder, and this is startup #4. However, I am surrounded by some fantastic advisors, mentors, and friends which I can count on. Personal health is essential to me: a healthy body and a sharp mind. As we look to build the core team in 2018, having fun will be a definite requirement along with having Wellness and Mindfulness as part f our company culture.

Are you looking for employees? If so, how can candidates learn more about the company?

We will be—stayed tuned for the launch of our new website, which will provide more info.


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