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.

Per Scholas Columbus Featured on Out N About Columbus

Per Scholas Columbus was featured on a recent Out N About Columbus segment on Sunday, August 20. The show focuses on events, entertainment, and travel around Columbus, and often has segments dedicated to important happenings around town. 

On the segment, “Learn Something New,” hosts Mike Killburn and Renee Joseph discussed different topics, including Per Scholas Columbus’s technology training. Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard underscored the importance of tech training in Columbus and the power of our learners. In her interview, highlighted the ways Per SCholas eliminates barriers, helping unlock potential for learners and alumni to launch thriving careers. Watch the full feature here, starting at timestamp 9:23!


Per Scholas Columbus Graduates 37 Women Technologists from Tech Women of Color Cohort

On May 5th, 37 women technologists graduated from the latest Tech Women in Color cohort at Per Scholas Columbus! They were joined by friends and family, Per Scholas Midwest Regional Senior Vice President Noah Mitchell, and President and CEO Plinio Ayala. 

Attendees heard congratulations and words of forward-looking inspiration from Franklin County Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce; Tonija S. Coverdale, Associate Vice President of Technology Data Management at Nationwide; and Kat Yamaguchi, Programs Director at New Directions Career Center. Before they closed the educational chapter of this journey, each graduate shared “Why” they came to Per Scholas as part of their graduation presentation. We’re delighted to see so many women of color unlocking their potential and heading boldly into the world of IT.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming Tech Women of Color cohort!

Liz Bumiller

Rachel Bates

Frandie Francique

Per Scholas Columbus Tech Women of Color Enhances Racial and Gender Diversity in Columbus’s Tech Industry

Per Scholas Columbus was featured on NBC4! The article discussed how our organization is bringing racial and gender diversity to Columbus’s rapidly growing tech scene, and highlighted our creation of the Tech Women of Color Alliance, which offers training and job placement assistance in the tech industry for women of color.

“We need to make sure that our city represents our citizens, which means that women of color need to be in that space,” Jenn Fowler Howard, our Managing Director for Per Scholas Columbus,  was quoted as saying.

Click here to read the full feature.