In today’s job market, both employers and job seekers are facing challenges. There is a shortage of skilled workers – particularly for tech positions – and millions of people are unemployed or underemployed, while critical jobs remain unfilled.

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program (B2E) is working to be part of the solution to this problem. B2E is a paid professional development and training program designed to recruit talent from under-represented groups to fill IT jobs. Participants are veterans entering civilian careers, stay-at-home parents or caregivers rejoining the workforce, and people switching careers. York Solutions’ partner companies benefit by gaining access to a new diverse pipeline of skilled talent.

We asked Jesse Bohr, a veteran and a B2E graduate, to share his experiences with the program. Jesse credits his military service with preparing him for his new fast-paced career in IT.

“My previous special operations military experience has given me confidence and comfortability under pressure,” Jesse said. “It helps me not get overwhelmed by the volume of ambiguity I deal with in my job. I’m always getting pulled in a lot of directions to do various tasks, and if I hadn’t dealt with that so much in the military, I don’t think I would be handling it as well as I am now.”

When Jesse left the military, he struggled to make ends meet. He worked as a weekend security guard at a nightclub, but he was technically homeless, sleeping on friends’ couches and barely scraping by. Then Jesse heard about the Barriers to Entry program at a local Veterans Affairs (VA) office.

“I’ve always been interested in getting a foothold into the IT world,” Jesse said. “When I saw that it was possible to do so without first getting a degree I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. And the fact that training was included was extraordinary.”

Now Jesse works on a network tools engineering team, performing user audits, and managing troubleshooting while migrating users to secure, web-based connection solutions. He also recently moved into his own apartment, a step he said wouldn’t have been possible without B2E.

“B2E has changed my life for the better, no doubt about it,” Jesse said. “And I’d extend that to include the employees of York Solutions.”

He spoke enthusiastically about the people who helped him throughout his training and professional development, saying they gave him advice, support, and confidence along the way.

“Melissa was the person who immediately sold me on the B2E program while I was in the VA,” Jesse said. “Kara has been astoundingly helpful to me with any questions I have with work-related issues. And Richard is one of the absolute best and most inspiring people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I feel so honored to be able to speak to someone who holds such a high position, and still feel like I’m just talking to an old friend. Truly amazing.”

Jesse said he plans to continue furthering his career in IT, and he hopes to earn a degree in the future.

Learn more about York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program.