Making the jump from boots to suits is difficult for many veterans. Of post-9/11 veterans, 53% experience a period of unemployment after leaving the military.
SAP NS2’s CEO, Mark Testoni, an Air Force veteran, wanted to find a way for NS2 to give back to the military community that played such a significant role in his life. In spring of 2013, he contributed the initial funding to put a small group of veterans through an intensive, full-time training and certification program for SAP software solutions. From there, NS2 Serves was created as an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to training and employing veterans in high-tech careers. According to Testoni, “It’s our way of continuing to serve and honor those that have done the same for our country.”
Growing NS2 Serves
Adam Rocke, Managing Director of NS2 Serves, retired Army colonel and dedicated veteran advocate, explains that most veterans have the soft skills (dedication, leadership, and discipline) valued by companies. But many veterans transitioning back to civilian life and new careers are often missing a formal degree or certification for a hard skill that can help them land the right career opportunity. NS2 leaders recognized that they could help provide these missing pieces for veterans with technical aptitudes.
Since joining NS2 Serves nine months ago, Rocke has been applying his extensive experience in veteran support—Solider for Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) and Hiring our Heroes (HOH)—to significantly expand the program and extend its helping hand to an even larger number of veterans in the midst of reentry. He points out that, “Our team has a history of military service, and we recognize our veterans’ potential. We give them the opportunity to upskill and start their careers with tangible, hard skills.”
How it Works
After a competitive application and interview process, students go through an intensive 8-12–week training course focused on SAP software solutions. The intent is to provide students with the skills needed to support U.S. national security needs and commercial enterprises utilizing world-class solutions. We also provide training in advanced communication and presentation skills, resume development, personal finances, and critical thinking.
At the end of the program, graduates receive an SAP industry-recognized certification at no cost to them. NS2 Serves pays for all training and associated travel costs, enabling students to save their GI benefits for future use. The program even adds a monetary bonus once certification is completed. All we ask is that our graduates pay it forward by spreading the word about NS2 Serves to other deserving veterans.
Armed with certifications in SAP HANA, SAP Data Services, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Financial Accounting, our graduates have landed jobs as functional analysts, software product support analysts, and associate consultants. We’re thrilled that companies like Deloitte, Accenture, USDA, and SAP recognize, value, and employ our graduates.
To date, we’ve had 335 graduates, a 99% graduation rate, and a 100% job-placement rate. Last year, we trained and placed 100 students. We know that by employing veterans, we’re also helping their families live better lives. It’s why we do what we do.
You Can Help Veterans
We’ve pledged to train and place 600 veterans by 2021. NS2 Serves reflects the heart of our company, but we can’t do it alone. To continue providing this program at no cost to our students, we need additional donations and sponsorships. If you’re interested in learning more about getting involved with NS2 Serves, please contact us.
If you know any veterans who might benefit from this program, pass along the word that NS2 Serves is now accepting applications for the February 2020 class.