Per Scholas Awarded $1 Million Grant from JPMorgan Chase to Scale Apprenticeship Program
Per Scholas is excited to announce that we received a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to help expand apprenticeship opportunities for learners and scale programs for in-demand occupations.
We are one of four organizations to receive the philanthropic commitment totaling $3.5 million. This commitment will support Per Scholas in developing and piloting a new cybersecurity apprenticeship initiative, which addresses a critical labor shortage while testing a sustainable, innovative, earn-and-learn approach to achieving economic mobility.
“We are incredibly grateful for this generous investment, which will increase our impact and create economic mobility for thousands of individuals in communities across the country, including an anticipated $80M generated in first-year wages for new cyber technologists historically underrepresented in the cybersecurity space,” said Per Scholas President & CEO Plinio Ayala. “We are excited to partner with employers across the country to make this program a success and help close the cybersecurity skills gap.”
This support will also help us expand our existing suite of cybersecurity training programs to reach more learners annually, recruiting unemployed and underemployed talent from Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, St. Louis and Greater Washington region.
Per Scholas Celebrates $20 Million Investment from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
Per Scholas Celebrates $20 Million Investment from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
Transformational Investment Propels and Positions Tech Skills Nonprofit for National Future Impact
BRONX, New York (September 28, 2023) – Per Scholas, a national nonprofit committed to advancing economic mobility and unlocking potential through technology career training, today announced a $20 million investment from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
Receiving this transformational investment from MacKenzie Scott, one of the most dynamic philanthropists in modern times, is a testament to Per Scholas' impact over our nearly 30 year history. As we've evolved from a computer recycler in the South Bronx to a technical skills trainer in 22 cities and counting across America, we are so grateful for this $20 million gift – the largest, unrestricted funding our organization has ever received. This investment will propel Per Scholas for even greater national impact well into the future, centered on growth and innovation and ensuring our alumni achieve a thriving wage through our Career Accelerator.— Plinio Ayala, President & CEO, Per Scholas
To date, Per Scholas has prepared more than 20,000 individuals across the U.S. for high-growth careers in technology by offering tuition-free, rigorous, 12- to 15-week training in the nation’s most in-demand tech skills. The evidence-based Per Scholas model has been proven in multiple gold-standard research studies, and on average, Per Scholas-trained technologists go on to earn three times their pre-training wage in their first job following graduation. All told, Per Scholas graduates have earned more than $2.4 billion in their post-Per Scholas careers, powering economic advancement in communities across the nation.
Per Scholas connects graduates to high growth careers through our network of 850+ employer partners, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, and supports alumni through the organization’s latest innovation, the Career Accelerator, which provides Per Scholas alumni short-term upskilling opportunities, in turn propelling careers. As a result, every dollar invested in Per Scholas results in at least $8 in net economic return.
I'd like to express my most heartfelt gratitude to Per Scholas staff, funders, employer partners, and supporters, who have believed in our mission to advance economic equity and increase opportunity through America's hottest sector - technology. While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life in ways previously unimagined, it presented the opportunity for Per Scholas to innovate a new delivery model, which proved so successful that we were able to scale our impact four-fold. I echo Plinio's gratitude to Ms. Scott - this $20 million investment will certainly position Per Scholas well into our next decade of unlocking potential.— Lewis Miller, Per Scholas Co-Founder and National Board Chair
Today, Per Scholas operates in 20+ U.S. markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Greater Boston, Chicago, Greater Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. This investment will enable Per Scholas to continue to expand its training and talent solutions to additional communities across the United States, with the goal of training 10,000 learners per year by 2026.
About Per Scholas
For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has been advancing equity and increasing opportunity across America. Per Scholas unlocks potential for individuals, communities, and employers through rigorous training for careers in tech. Partnering with dynamic employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, we are building sustainable and diverse talent pipelines, together changing the face of tech. With national remote training and campuses in 20+ cities and growing, Per Scholas offers tuition-free training in the most in-demand tech skills, including Cloud, Cybersecurity, Data Engineering, IT Support, Software Engineering, and more.
To date, more than 20,000 individuals have gained the skills to launch high-growth tech careers, earning three times their pre-training wage. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is in our DNA: 85 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color, two in five are women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Visit PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Meet Esther, Per Scholas Dallas Graduate & Technologist
Esther is just one of Per Scholas’ 20,000+ alumni. She’s a proud Per Scholas Dallas IT Support graduate and successful career switcher, living her dream of working in tech. Click below to hear her story and how she’s benefitting from the Career Accelerator – earning more stackable credentials to propel her tech career!
Per Scholas North Carolina Featured on WBTV Highlighting $1 Million Grant from Truist Foundation
Per Scholas North Carolina’s training and $1 million grant from Truist Foundation was featured on WBTV’s news program. Dedrick Russell, Executive Producer for Community Content at WBTV spoke with Jeff Jones, Per Scholas North Carolina alumni, and Kim Gomme, current learner, to get their insight and experience with their training.
The campus’s Managing Director Mike Terrell discussed the impact of the $1 million grant in expanding to rural communities and how having a diverse workforce is necessary for the industry.
Per Scholas North Carolina Continues to Empower Learners Through Innovative Partnership with Truist Foundation
As part of Per Scholas’ mission to promote equitable access to education, Per Scholas North Carolina has partnered with Truist Foundation, an organization committed to building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. The partnership will allow us to expand our training to rural communities across North Carolina. This month, Truist Foundation awarded Per Scholas with a $1 million grant, and our organizations held a joint event focused on professional development.
Truist Foundation Grant Reception
On August 10th, Truist Foundation announced that it would be committing $2 million to promote economic mobility through technology-oriented training initiatives in communities across North Carolina. Per Scholas received $1 million from this initiative, with the other $1 million going to tech training nonprofit NPower.
This generous grant will be used to double the size of Per Scholas North Carolina’s existing training program, allowing us to increase access and opportunity for high-growth careers in tech to learners across North Carolina. Per Scholas will be growing its partnership with Wilkes Community College to provide tech skills, professional development, and coaching to learners in Western North Carolina, outside of Charlotte city limits, and offer remote training programs to learners in rural areas of the state.
Per Scholas Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill attended the remarkable event. Also in attendance were Heath Campbell –Regional President of Metrolina, Truist Financial Corporation; Bill Rogers – Chairman and CEO, Truist Financial Corporation; Erskine Bowles – Co-Founder, Housing Impact Fund; George Dunlap – Chairman of the Board, Mecklenburg County Commission; Keitt King – Head of Truist Community Capital; and Bertina Ceccarelli – CEO, NPower.
Lynette Bell – President, Truist Foundation, moderated a panel with Mike Terrell – Managing Director, Per Scholas North Carolina; Adelaide Martin – Operations & Impact Manager, Ascent Housing; and Ray Trapp – Executive Director, NPower North Carolina.
“Per Scholas is grateful for this tremendous investment into Per Scholas North Carolina from Charlotte-based Truist Foundation, helping to increase pathways to economic mobility for North Carolinians,” said Mike Terrell, managing director of Per Scholas North Carolina. “We know the transformative impact a career in technology can have on individuals, and increasing access and opportunity is key…We’re very humbled by Truist Foundation’s grant, which will help us unlock potential for even more aspiring rural technologists, in turn building stronger communities, companies, and economies.”
Per Scholas North Carolina Truist Volunteer Event
Per Scholas North Carolina and Truist Foundation held a joint event on August 10th, in which volunteers from Truist paired with Per Scholas North Carolina technologists, providing our technologists with the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and practice their growing professional development skills.
20% of Per Scholas’ training curriculum centers on professional development and coaching, with emphasis on the essential skills of problem solving, collaboration, innovation, and leadership. Opportunities like these in which future tech professionals can meet and learn from established industry experts are priceless in fostering these skills and are a great way for technologists to begin building their professional networks.
After the paired coaching sessions, Per Scholas North Carolina’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships Desiree Patterson led participants in a Talk Back session, in which everyone discussed what they had learned and reflected on how they would use what they had learned to grow going forward.
The event, which was hosted by Per Scholas North Carolina Campus Director Dr. Jastacia Jones, also included remarks from Truist’s Chief Financial Officer, Mike Maguire, who delivered the announcement of Truist’s $1 million grant to Per Scholas, and from Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director Mike Terrell, who expressed Per Scholas’ sincere gratitude to Truist in supporting our joint mission, and thanked the participants of the event.
NPower and Per Scholas Each Receive $1M Grants from Truist Foundation to Support Tech Training across North Carolina
NPower and Per Scholas Each Receive $1M Grants from Truist Foundation to Support Tech Training Across North Carolina
Grants will help expand access to careers in technology, boost
economic mobility for underserved adult learners
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 10, 2023 – In an era where technology and digital prowess have become essential for many job opportunities, Truist Foundation today announced $2 million in commitments to support a singular focus: forging pathways to economic mobility through technology-oriented training initiatives in communities across North Carolina. A $1 million grant will go to national tech training nonprofit NPower and a separate $1 million grant will go to Per Scholas, a national nonprofit that aims to advance economic equity through training for tech careers.
“North Carolina has long been a thriving tech hub, but not everyone has access to the opportunities it offers,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “Truist Foundation wants to make careers in tech accessible to everyone across the state, and by offering coursework and career opportunities in more communities, NPower and Per Scholas are helping to break down those barriers to entry.”
Per Scholas will use its funding to double the size of its technology skills training program offering in the Tarheel state. Through dynamic partnerships, Per Scholas North Carolina will offer remote training programs to more than 250 learners in rural areas of the state in an effort to increase access and opportunity for high-growth careers in technology.
As it expands, the organization will grow its powerful partnership with Wilkes Community College to provide tech skills, professional development and coaching to learners in Western North Carolina, outside of Charlotte city limits. With a robust roster of employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, some previous Per Scholas North Carolina graduates were able to double their pretraining wages in their first tech job, which can result in sustainable economic mobility.
“Per Scholas is grateful for this tremendous investment into Per Scholas North Carolina from Charlotte-based Truist Foundation, helping to increase pathways to economic mobility for North Carolinians. We know the transformative impact a career in technology can have on individuals, and increasing access and opportunity is key. Per Scholas North Carolina has seen the impact of our rural training model already, injecting more than $1.9 million back into local communities,” said Mike Terrell, managing director of Per Scholas North Carolina. “We’re very humbled by Truist Foundation’s grant, which will help us unlock potential for even more aspiring rural technologists, in turn building stronger communities, companies and economies.”
Using the grant funds, NPower will expand its free flagship Tech Fundamentals training program into North Carolina for the first time with a location in Raleigh—a vibrant city within the Research Triangle community. The 16-week training program addresses barriers that exist among young adults ages 18 to 26, military-connected individuals and women of color eager to enter the field of technology.
The ambitious expansion seeks to attract, educate and empower at least 150 new learners over the course of the grant, and aims to hone their skills to master the art of information technology (IT) with the expectation of acquiring expertise equivalent to professionals with one to two years of experience. One of the goals of this initiative is for the impact to extend beyond the boundaries of learning, enabling these graduates to confidently embrace the digital economy and its myriad possibilities.
“Real innovation begins when the problem statement is clear and there is a sincere commitment to address it. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with Truist Foundation for our expansion into North Carolina,” said Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower. “Empowering underserved communities through innovation in tech and embracing diversity isn’t just a vision; it’s the driving force behind NPower’s mission, where every challenge becomes an opportunity to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.”
During an event at Truist Center in Charlotte, Truist Financial Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers joined Bell, Ceccarelli and Caitlyn Brazill, chief development officer of Per Scholas, to formally announce the grants and discuss their impact across North Carolina. Terrell and NPower Executive Director Ray Trapp also participated in a panel moderated by Bell to discuss the importance of progressing economic mobility in North Carolina.
North Carolina is known as a tech hub in the U.S. In 2021, commercial real estate leader CBRE ranked Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte among the top tech talent markets in the U.S. and Canada. According to their findings, Charlotte proved to have one of the most diverse tech talent workforces in the U.S. and ranks among the top 10 states in the nation for total employment in this sector.
# # #
NPower is a national nonprofit on a mission to move people from poverty to the middle class by training youth from underserved communities and military-connected individuals in a range of tech skills and placing them in quality jobs. Students who enter their free, six-month program, earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Eighty percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. Not only is NPower changing life trajectories for individuals from vulnerable communities, but they are also strengthening the overall competitiveness of U.S. businesses hamstrung by today’s limited pool of IT talent. To learn more about NPower, visit www.npower.org.
About Per Scholas
For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has been advancing equity and increasing opportunity across America. Per Scholas unlocks potential for individuals, communities, and employers through rigorous training for careers in tech. Partnering with dynamic employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, we are building sustainable and diverse talent pipelines, together changing the face of tech. With national remote training and campuses in 20 cities and growing, Per Scholas offers tuition-free training in the most in-demand tech skills, including Cloud, Cybersecurity, Data Engineering, IT Support, Software Engineering, and more. To date, more than 20,000 individuals have gained the skills to launch high-growth tech careers, earning three times their pre-training wage. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is our DNA, with 85 percent of learners are people of color, two in five are women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Learn more by visiting PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. For local updates, follow Per Scholas North Carolina on LinkedIn and Facebook.
About Truist Foundation
Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.
# # #
Truist Invests $17 Million in the Future of Charlotte and Communities Across North Carolina
Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) and Truist Foundation today announced $17 million in commitments to support affordable housing in Charlotte and career development and economic mobility programs across North Carolina.
The Truist commitment consists of three initiatives:
- $15 million equity investment from Truist Community Capital in the Housing Impact Fund II to combat displacement, secure affordable housing and facilitate critical services for low-to-moderate income families across Mecklenburg County. It is the second such fund formed by Erskine Bowles, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and Nelson Schwab, a founding partner of Carousel Capital.
- $1 million Truist Foundation grant to Per Scholas North Carolina to expand technology skills training in rural North Carolina.
- $1 million Truist Foundation grant to NPower to provide technology skills and employment opportunities for military-connected individuals and underserved young adults in the Raleigh community.
Read the Truist press release here.
Per Scholas Diverse by Design Hosts Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration
On July 20, Per Scholas Diverse by Design hosted our first-ever Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration. This hybrid event, produced live from Per Scholas New York and Per Scholas North Carolina and streamed at PerScholas.org/Concert, brought together Per Scholas staff, learners, alumni, partners, advisory board members, and more to rally around our mission to unlocking potential.
This inspiring event featured talented musicians and poets who work, learn, and partner with Per Scholas, including:
- Deji Adefuye, Per Scholas Dallas Teaching Fellow, who premiered two original songs titled Persevere and You Believe In You
- Melodie Rodgers, Per Scholas Manager of Career Advancement, sharing her original poem, Unlock Your Potential
- Zaidi Howard, Per Scholas Chicago Teaching Fellow, sharing his original poem, Soul Questions
- Caprice Green, Per Scholas Detroit Alumna, performing Astonishing from Little Women
- Mike Terrell, Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director, performing Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World
- Omoanatse McCarther, Per Scholas Diverse by Design Senior Director, sharing her original poem, Forged Key
- Broadway Star Tim Connell, performing Corner of the Sky from Pippin
- Nonprofit Consultant and Leadership Coach Saundra Thomas, performing her original poem, Silver Linings
Hosted by Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Culture Ken Walker, viewers had the opportunity to hear from our EVP of People Montreece Smith, Regional Senior Vice Presidents Noah Mitchell, Jaclyn Boyes, and Robin Nadeau, as well as President and CEO Plinio Ayala. Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill delivered remarks live from the Bronx and introduced the final performances.
Scores of Per Scholians came together for this exciting event; many thanks to Per Scholas Columbus, Per Scholas Dallas, Per Scholas New York Bronx, and Per Scholas North Carolina for hosting on-campus viewing parties.
In closing, the event showcased just a handful of our brilliant Per Scholas alumni, which you can watch here. If you missed the Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration, you can watch the recording here! If you feel inspired and want to help unlock potential, please give at perscholas.org/donate.
Per Scholas North Carolina Awarded Lenovo Foundation TransforMe Grant
Per Scholas North Carolina is the proud recipient of Lenovo Foundation’s TransforMe grant. The grant was awarded to twenty-three organizations worldwide, and Per Scholas is one of four recipients in the United States. Lenovo Foundation’s TransforMe grant aims to equip today’s workforce with the skills needed to transform their career, lives, and communities and is part of the Foundation’s commitment and mission to transform the lives of 1 million individuals by 2025.
The TransforMe grant will support Per Scholas North Carolina in preparing diverse individuals to launch their tech careers, creating a more equitable workforce.
Per Scholas North Carolina Awarded American Rescue Plan Act Grant
Per Scholas North Carolina Celebrates Opening of Innovation Lab
Earlier this month, Per Scholas North Carolina celebrated the opening of its Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is a multipurpose space that inspires greater collaboration and enhances our capacity to host activities ranging from mock interviews and study groups to conferences for our learners, and more.
To help us celebrate the lab, Per Scholas North Carolina hosted an event with current learners, Per Scholas alumni, guest speakers, community and employer partners, and Per Scholas North Carolina Advisory Board members.
“Our team saw this space as an opportunity to position ourselves at the epicenter of the Innovation that’s happening in Charlotte,” Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director Mike Terrell reflected. “The co-location with our Charlotte campus enables our community and employer partners to be closest to the heart of our mission: our learners. We look forward to the conversations and events we’ll have in the Innovation Lab and to the impact we will be able to have across the state!”
The Innovation Lab will be instrumental in Per Scholas’s ability to advance tech careers for our learners throughout North Carolina in addition to our partnership with Wilkes Community College and NC Tech Paths, which began earlier this year. Per Scholas North Carolina aims to train 220 learners in 2023 in courses including IT Support, Cybersecurity, and Software Engineering.