Business Matters: York Solutions Finds Nontraditional Workers
The tight labor market has local companies trying new approaches to find workers. One company in Brooklyn Park is tapping into a labor pool that often goes overlooked. That labor pool includes Danika Brewer.
“When you are a stay-at-home mom, and if you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a long period of time, you kind of feel, ‘could I go back?,’ wondered Brewer.
It turns out she could. York Solutions trains its employees in its own classroom through a program called Barriers to Entry. The lessons are free. But you do need a little persistence to get accepted into the program.
“It’s really people that have that resilience and perseverance and hunger, that they’re able to get in and figure it out. They’re not waiting for someone to tell them what to do,” said Silvia Hinton, lead instructor for the Barriers to Entry program.
“There’s a Gap of Talent”
York Solutions provides IT consulting and project management for clients. Hinton says the company’s Barriers to Entry program opens doors that nontraditional workers couldn’t have imagined. It also opens doors for the company too.
“There’s a business need. There’s a gap of talent in the IT community,” said Hinton.
The training sessions at York Solutions last three weeks. Those who take the sessions describe them as “pretty intense.” After the lessons are done, York will supply the people they train to companies like Cargill, 3M and Xcel Energy, where Yohanna Yemaneab will work. She too was a stay-at-home mom.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity, because there’s a lot of moms, stay-at-home moms, that want to go back to the workforce, and sometimes you might not have the network, or the resource to do so,” said Yemaneab.
The Brooklyn Park company believes recruiting the unconventional candidate is a great way to find talent. Sixty percent of its recent 12-member graduating class were women, many of them stay-at-home moms. The company also looks for veterans. York Solutions was founded by Bill Carr, a Vietnam veteran, in 1989.
“Don’t Be Discouraged”
Most of the people that come into York’s training have non-technical backgrounds. Many of the jobs are temporary starting out, but York says those jobs often lead to full-time work with benefits, either at York Solutions or the companies it supplies workers to. The pay isn’t bad either. Hinton says some of the workers see salaries from $55,000 to $75,000 after one year of working with York.
For workers like Brewer, finding the program was a fresh start. She spent 12 years climbing the corporate ladder in the financial industry. She spent the next six raising a family. The program gave her renewed confidence. She feels anyone can re-enter the workforce if they set their mind to it.
“Don’t be discouraged if you’ve been out of work for a long period of time. you can, if you want to get back into the workforce,” Brewer said.