Per Scholas Columbus Highlighted as One of 17 Nonprofits in Downtown Columbus’ Community Impact Center

Per Scholas Columbus was featured in Nationwide, describing its role as one of 17 nonprofit organizations that operate within downtown Columbus’ Community Impact Center (CIC). These local nonprofits collaborate to address critical community needs, including workforce development training, food insecurity, housing, and childcare. This collaboration has enabled Per Scholas Columbus to expand its training capacity from 100 to over 220 learners. 

The article highlighted Per Scholas Columbus graduate, Winta Hayelom, as well as Jenn Fowler Howard, Per Scholas’ Columbus’ Senior Managing Director, who emphasized that this partnership within the CIC fosters deeper connections and support, unlocking significant potential for Per Scholas Columbus learners.

Read more.

Per Scholas Columbus One of 17 Nonprofits Located in Columbus’ Community Impact Center

Per Scholas Columbus is one of 17 nonprofits located in the Community Impact Center (CIC), a community center in downtown Columbus, created in partnership between United Way of Central Ohio and Nationwide. The center creates spaces for nonprofits that provide critical services to the Columbus community, helping individuals achieve strong futures for themselves and their community.

Read about the Community Impact Center.

Sarah Norcross

Malika Bythewood

Terena Arnold

Per Scholas Columbus Senior Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard Pens Op-Ed for The Columbus Dispatch

Per Scholas Columbus Senior Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard was featured in The Columbus Dispatch for her op-ed centered around embracing diversity in Columbus.

“The heart of Columbus’s tech success story shouldn’t just be about buildings or businesses; we must make room for diversity by empowering individuals from all backgrounds,” Fowler Howard writes. “For me, the future of Columbus’s tech workforce will embody inclusivity and diversity — unlocking hidden potential at every stop, so long as we do the work now to make it happen.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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.

Read the full press release here.

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 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! 

Hibo Hirsi

Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard Provides Thought Leadership and Insight at CIO Tomorrow Conference

On Thursday, August 10, Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard attended CIO Tomorrow’s conference, Next/Gen – Leveling Up the Next Generation of IT, and spoke during a breakout sessionBuilding Next Gen Talent Pipeline. The conference was held in Columbus and featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and innovative live sessions to re-think the limiting approach to sourcing talent and proactively shore-up the perceived skills gap by tapping into untapped talent. 

As a panelist on the Building Next Gen Talent Pipelines breakout discussion, Jenn Fowler Howard underscored the importance of alternative talent pipelines and the skills of Per Scholas alumni as technologists. The panel focused on building future tech talent, growing organization-wide digital fluency, and deliberately curating culture and belonging to enhance organizations’ talent pipelines. In this session, panelists discussed the next steps leaders need to take to harness the power of their people and technology, while growing the culture needed to achieve their future vision. Joining Jenn Fowler Howard as panelists were Geoff Bauer, Supervisor, IT Flexible Apprenticeship at Columbus State Community College; Anand Sekaran, Associate Director at Accenture; and moderator Allison Shock, Managing Director – Banking Future of Work Lead at Accenture.

During her remarks, Jenn Fowler Howard reflected on the ways alternative, non-traditional talent pipelines can enhance innovation within today’s IT industry, stating, “I’d love to begin to evolve our language so it’s empowered. To me, the definition of a non-traditional talent pipeline are individuals with different journeys. They’re stars – skilled through alternate routes – at a proven, evidence-based training program like Per Scholas Columbus, through military service, on the job experience…Diversity of thought drives innovation, better collaboration, and better results for individuals, families, communities, companies, and our local economies.”

Learn more about the CIO Tomorrow Next/Gen – Leveling Up the Next Generation of IT conference here.


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