Veterans entering the civilian job market offer potential employers a wide range of valuable capabilities and knowledge. They have experience working in fast-paced environments, collaborating on diverse teams, and continuously building new skills. Yet veterans still remain an under-utilized human resource, with an unemployment rate higher than the national average.

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program (B2E) strives to help veterans and other groups that face challenges rejoining the workforce or switching careers. B2E is a paid program that equips participants with the professional development and training necessary to fill in-demand IT jobs. York Solutions partners with companies that are excited to add smart and motivated veterans to their teams.

We sat down with Joe Perez, a former motor sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard and a recent B2E graduate, to talk about his experience. After he completed the program, Joe joined a company as a scrum master for a big data team.

Being a project manager has always been my end goal,” said Joe. “But I didn’t want to take the long road and wait until corporate America said I had the sufficient experience to be able to manage projects. It felt like being a B2E participant was the opportunity I needed to get into project management and further develop my IT career.”

At his current company, Joe has started to take on more tasks related to his interests in project management and business analysis. He is applying what he learned during military service and the B2E program to advance his long-term goals.

“Being a sergeant in the Army National Guard and having a technical background have been key to my success,” said Joe. “When I arrived, they had no idea who I was or what I was capable of, and now I have proven to be a great asset to the team and the Agile Release Train.”

Joe aims to become a Release Train Engineer and manage multiple scrum teams in the future. He recommends the B2E program for other veterans who are interested in a new career path.

“B2E has been a godsend and is the perfect program to jump-start a career in project management,” said Joe. “It gives you tools to learn the various methodologies and how to apply them to real life projects.”

Learn more about the Barriers to Entry program.