An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 military service members transition into the civilian workforce every year. Thousands of qualified veterans with transferable skills are looking to start new careers, while at the same time, employers are struggling to fill a growing number of critical tech positions.

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program (B2E) is a returnship program that is designed to bridge this gap for both veterans and employers. B2E offers robust paid training to people re-entering the workforce – especially veterans and stay-at-home parents – to help them launch careers in high-demand sectors of the IT industry. B2E is a win-win: companies gain access to a diverse source of IT talent, and veterans have an opportunity to showcase their capabilities.

We spoke with Nate Cunningham, a B2E graduate and a 17-year combat veteran, to share his experiences in the program. After finishing tours in Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait as a cryptologic linguist and language program manager, Cunningham was ready to move back to Minnesota and start pursuing his goals outside of military service. He was drawn to B2E for the doors it opened through paid training and connections to IT companies.

“I was able to get my foot in the door with companies throughout the metro area as I was transitioning into civilian life,” he said. “Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the B2E Program is the tacit understanding that veterans are qualified to do jobs and bring sought-after skills to the workplace. York Solutions put us directly into the corporate structure and trusting us to land on our feet and augment the company.”

Cunningham is now a project manager at Prime Therapeutics and has so far been in charge of 12 different projects across the company’s infrastructure, and has worked on commercial and government projects for Prime’s nationwide clients. He said the training he received in the B2E program gave him the vocabulary and knowledge he needed in IT project management to ease his transition into a new position and career.

“Potential employers should look at the B2E program for talent,” Cunningham said. “The B2E program develops relationships with the company. It also filters candidates for soft skills to provide a consultant who will bring skills and talents that the traditional hiring process will not capture and that computer hiring programs will not recognize. York does this work for you.”

Learn how your company can implement a Veteran Workforce Initiative at the upcoming Veteran Career Summit. Register here.