November 17, 2022

Salesforce: Apprenticeships & Partnerships

Bitwise Industries Highlights the Human Benefits

At the heart of Bitwise Industries’ mission is the commitment to building a workforce full of humans that would otherwise not have found a place in the technology industry. Obviously, this is no easy task: we have incredible teammates who are dedicated to pursuing that mission as eagerly as possible, and partnerships with companies that have similar commitments help as well. The Salesforce Talent Alliance aspires to create a diverse workforce through training, credentialing, and hiring professionals from underestimated groups and guide them to the place in high-earning tech jobs they deserve.

The Talent Alliance and Bitwise’s hiring and apprenticeship missions are parallel: both committing to create cultures of equity through inclusive hiring practices, and prioritizing those in marginalized communities who might otherwise not have access to tech training and knowledge building. Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s Chairman and CEO, is “committed to empowering people from every background with the skills they need to build careers and thrive in the digital economy.” In an industry with rapid growth, Salesforce is putting their money where their mouth is, with a commitment to create more than 9 million new jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem by 2026.

It’s no secret that Salesforce’s knowledge accessibility is a step above other massive technology companies, with their Trailblazer Community granting people access to all sorts of Salesforce tools and tricks from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace. Additionally, community is at the forefront for Salesforce: the Talent Alliance creates a space for potential hires and employers alike to network and connect based on skill level, even acting as a gateway for specifically hiring those with less than six months of professional experience, so even new admins get a chance to get their foot in the door of a booming CRM industry.  

With the Salesforce and Bitwise power-up combined, the first apprenticeship group of Salesforce admins created the framework of Bitwise’s Salesforce instance. Today, we’ved asked some of our very own admins from the very first Salesforce apprenticeship about their experience, and how the real-world work they were doing then, has continued to contribute to their success as full-fledged admins with leadership roles.

Brad Norris, Salesforce Project Manager, External Clients

Brad Norris is no stranger to Salesforce, as a member of the very first group of admin apprentices hired on in the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. He jumped into Trailhead with full-force: eventually earning coveted Ranger status with over 100 skill badges under his belt. As a Salesforce Project Manager for our Technology Services department, he now leads a crew of admins doing work for clients every day, with local customers ranging from Fresno Unified School District to Fresno Pacific University. In real time, Brad is helping lead the charge of admins and architects directly contributing to their communities through their work in Salesforce. “The great thing about Salesforce is that the training and learning modules are available at your fingertips through Trailhead and other resources. This doesn’t just give you the real-world experience that can not only teach you how to flex those skills you’ve learned, but also validate your knowledge of Salesforce–getting to work on real projects, with real stakeholders and real results is a valuable experience that cannot be replicated with practice scenarios and playground orgs. Some of the projects I worked on as an apprentice are still being used to this day.” Trailhead was a stepping stone, building accessibility to knowledge that helped Brad and other previous apprentices to work on real-time projects.

Jake Aguilar, Salesforce Solutions Architect

We’ve met Jake Aguilar before: a perfect example of how hard work and dedication, as well as accessibility to skillbuilding, helped him break into the tech industry. As a Salesforce Solutions Architect, Jake’s daily mission is finding solutions to create the most efficient and seamless orgs possible for our external clients, and he uses his knowledge to help stakeholders from all sorts of industries build their business with the Salesforce CRM. “My experiences as an apprentice were invaluable. I learned so much about Salesforce as a platform, collaborative project-based work, communication, and formed friendships that will likely last the rest of my life.” The real-life experience as an administrator apprentice did not just help Jake with his Salesforce skills.

“Being able to work on project-based work provided two foundations for me. How to communicate both with client stakeholders as well as my team and general platform knowledge that I would not get otherwise. We held discovery meetings about our stakeholders with our lead and were able to build effective solutions for them, plus everything in between! On top of that, working on real-world work that will actually affect people is rewarding as hell.” Jake has since worked on several community-influencing projects, including building an organization for Central California Food Bank, where he combined declarative work with development work to yield a beautiful system used to feed our local community.

Joe Wheelock, Salesforce Solutions Architect

Joe Wheelock has seen the building of Bitwise’s internal Salesforce instance from nearly the beginning, with some of his real-time projects still being used within the organization to this day. Despite being scared about the uncertainty of being in a brand new apprenticeship, Joe has built both his Salesforce and leadership skills, serving as a Project Manager for Bitwise’s internal instance, and leading a team of admins to build solutions for integral workflows, including that of our Workforce Training department. Joe works closely with internal stakeholders–Bitwise leadership–to ensure that whatever Salesforce solutions are available are being used in real-time to create a seamless experience for the people who use the platform each day as part of their jobs, whether it is outreach or student success. “What started out as some of our ‘test projects’ turned into what is now Bitwise’s internal Salesforce instance. We interviewed some internal stakeholders about their business needs, put together some apps and processes using our few months’ SFDC experience, and then demo’d them for the stakeholders. The general response to our work was ‘Great, how do we start using this for real?’ We also had started building out this instance just as Bitwise was entering into a crazy growth phase, which meant we often had to pivot as priorities shifted and new needs became apparent. At the same time we were focused on continuing to learn and build skills so we could effectively address the company’s use cases.”

What Are You Doing to Uplift Humans?

With Salesforce’s commitment to accessibility and knowledge, combined with Bitwise’s mission to uplift underestimated communities, the possibilities are truly endless: a workforce of knowledgeable admins is being built day by day, sharpening their skills with both practical Salesforce knowledge and real-time experience with real-life stakeholders. The members of Bitwise’s first-ever Salesforce apprenticeship work daily to maintain the instance they built whilst creating their own experience and leadership skills, and developing the confidence to blaze their own trails, and lead both internal and external stakeholders to solutions. Not only that–our first group of Salesforce apprentices now serve as mentors and leaders to newer admins coming through our apprenticeship programs, giving back to their communities by helping brand new admins expand their skills with experience and mentorship at the forefront. 

Every day, new technology is developed to improve lives and communities, and when avenues are created for growth in underestimated communities, everyone gets the chance to thrive. Apprenticeships like the ones at Bitwise are helping set the scene for the future of tech while creating opportunities for all–so everyone gets the chance to shine. Are you a company looking to build your workforce whilst creating job opportunities for those previously unexposed to tech? Consider working with Bitwise to support the mission to help amazing people do amazing things in the tech industry.

This post was written by Amber Carpenter, Junior Copywriter at Bitwise Industries. When she’s not writing, she’s fighting for her life to buy Taylor Swift tour tickets and wondering what tech solutions Bitwise can introduce to ensure everyone gets to see that beautiful blonde angel sing her heart out.