Roughly 1 million U.S. veterans are returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. How will those U.S. veterans find jobs -- especially amid such a weak U.S. job market? Continuum, the MSP software provider, wants to lend a hand. The company is launching a non-profit organization called Continuum Veterans Foundation. Here's the strategy.
To drive the effort, Continuum will direct eight percent (8%) of all new revenue from its expanded Service Desk offerings to the Foundation beginning today.
Getting StartedWhat was the creative spark for this effort? On the one hand, Continuum CEO Michael George does not have direct ties to the military. But his wife's family has a long heritage of military service. Moreover, roughly 20 percent of Continuum's service desk employees have family ties to the U.S. armed forces -- about twice the national average.
To build the foundation, George and the Continuum management team huddled internally and also discussed the veteran foundation concept with Continuum's ownership -- Summit Partners. Summit gave the program the green light -- a huge vote of confidence, considering Continuum was a 2011 acquisition that also required R&D investments, software updates and executive hires. Many private equity firms want every cent possible to flow to the bottom line or to be pumped back into the business. In Summit's case, it aligned with the foundation's vision.
The Continuum Veterans Foundation also received key endorsements from Senators John McCain, John Kerry and Scott Brown, each of whom offered their thoughts on the importance of hiring U.S. veterans.
Also, watch for synergies between Continuum and CompTIA's Creating IT Futures Foundation, the charitable arm of CompTIA.
Ideas in MotionGeorge and the Continuum Management Team -- VP of Marketing Steve Ricketts, Senior Director of Marketing Communications Don Eng, and others -- have spent many months piecing together this program. Chatter about the effort first emerged at Autotask Community Live earlier this year.
I was scheduled to interview the Continuum team for about 30-minutes at that conference. Instead of dwelling on MSP software, we went down the side road of veteran hiring. For more than an hour, George described how and why Continuum was determined to help ease U.S. veterans back into the job market. He noted that veterans have great technical skills, great loyalty and a great commitment to doing a job right.
I wish I captured our hour-long discussion on video. It was sincere and extremely detailed. Frankly, I was surprised. Here was Continuum -- busy with several R&D projects and a company branding overhaul from Zenith RMM -- focused on giving back to veterans.
By the time we wrapped up the conversation back at Community Live, George only had one request: Sit on the official news for a bit until Continuum had the foundation details sorted out and ready to go. Those official details surfaced today. I'm impressed.