After a more than 20-year career in the manufacturing industry, Larry Stelmach was ready for a change. Then a friend recommended York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program (B2E), a paid training that prepares people changing careers or re-entering the workforce for in-demand jobs in IT project management.
“The program looked so good, I wasn’t sure if it was real,” said Stelmach. “I’m very risk-aware – I was in law enforcement when I was in the Marine Corps, and I tend to be cautious. But my friend had suggested the program, so I vetted it and sat in on a panel and decided to go for it.”
Stelmach said the B2E program helped him clarify and build on IT and project management knowledge he already had. While he had never heard the terms “waterfall model” or “agile model” applied to projects before, he had used the concepts throughout his manufacturing career.
“B2E helped me fill in the blanks and expand on these methodologies I had already practiced without formal training,” he said. “If you’ve ever planned a wedding or a birthday party, you’ve learned project management: aligning schedules, reaching out to vendors, getting stakeholders’ buy-in. But it was really helpful to learn the formal process and the best practices, common documents, and standard terminology. I still refer to my notes from the program.”
Stelmach graduated from the B2E program in May 2017 and received his Professional Scrum Master certification. He went on to work at York Solutions’ Project Delivery Service as a project manager, and at Cargill in roles as a project coordinator and project manager. He recently started a job as Scrum Master at TCF Bank.
“I love it,” he said. “Some things need to be nurtured, and some things are in your nature. This is in my nature. Facilitating projects, working with people, and creating team mindsets – this is what I did in manufacturing, Marine Corps, and now in IT.”
Stelmach said B2E opens doors for people willing to work hard and trust in the program, and he encourages others to look into the program.
“It’ll sound too good to be true, but it’s not,” he said. “Be prepared to drink from a firehouse, but you’ll get out of the program what you put into it. If you commit to York and B2E, there are opportunities on the other side, and that’s where the other work begins. Bring ethics and performance to what you do, and there is a future for you.”
Learn more about how York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program matches businesses with the right IT talent.