Per Scholas Recognized for its Role in Helping NYCHA Residents Launch Successful Careers in Tech

Per Scholas was recently recognized in the NYCHA Journal for its work in helping NYCHA residents launch successful careers in the tech field. Tech51 has partnered with NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) since 2017 to support residents who are interested in tech careers but have been unable to access training and job placement support.

Tech51 places interested NYCHA residents with either Per Scholas or Pursuit, another workforce training organization. Nearly 270 NYCHA residents have now completed the Tech51 training, with the majority of graduates getting placed in IT-related jobs.

“Tech51 is an excellent entry point for NYCHA residents seeking info on various tech pathways,” said Josephine Melendez, Assistant Director for Adult Education and Training at REES. “This initiative gives both entry-level applicants, as well as those seeking to switch careers, the opportunity to hear firsthand from viable tech training partners. NYCHA REES has been at the forefront of this collaborative effort and looks forward to engaging more residents to consider this expanding industry.”

This article also features Per Scholas graduates Matthew Cespedes and Sam M’Backe, who have both been able to launch successful IT careers after completion of Per Scholas training.

Read the full article featuring Per Scholas here.


Daniella Zaccaro

Emilz Rodriguez

Jermaine Bruce

Greetings from Per Scholas St. Louis!

Per Scholas is thrilled to reflect on this month’s expansion to our 18th city, St. Louis! This marks our first campus launch in 2022. We are honored and grateful to Cortex Innovation Community for their warm welcome as part of their strategy to accelerate inclusive economic growth in the region.

We were excited to participate at The Global Center for Cybersecurity’s MiniCon and host a welcome breakfast for community and industry leaders and partners with Cortex. The reception and welcome by Cortex, community partners, and local media has been overwhelmingly positive, including feature pieces by St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis National Public Radio, Flyover Future, and first-day coverage in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

Per Scholas St. Louis will host its inaugural cohort in Cybersecurity this summer in response to the need for Cybersecurity technologists in the community. According to CompTIA’s April jobs report, St. Louis ranked seventh in the nation for the most new tech job postings. And after talking with local employers and partners, the need for cybersecurity skills is at the forefront. 

Per Scholas St. Louis team

Per Scholas St. Louis is led by Managing Director Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr. Upon his hiring, Charlie reflected, “I am honored to join Per Scholas and lead our transformational work here in St. Louis. I believe our training removes two of the largest barriers for members of our local community who aspire to work in technology: access and affordability. By removing these barriers, Per Scholas learners and our future St. Louis graduates can achieve social and economic mobility.” 

“Our partnership with Cortex – and being located in this incredible District – will propel our ability to interact with the local tech community and employers in need of tech talent,” he continued. 


At the Global Center for Cybersecurity MiniCon, Per Scholas Graduate Elena Bilko participated on a panel discussing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cybersecurity, with fellow tech training graduates from CyberUp and NPower St. Louis. Elena, a New York Cybersecurity graduate from late 2020 shared her story about being a successful career-switcher from the fashion to the tech industry and highlighted that without Per Scholas, she would not have been able to break into the field.  Elena also shared her commitment to helping spread the word about the power and impact of programs like Per Scholas.  

Per Scholas St. Louis panelists sitting in a chair

As we continue to grow based on market demands, the Per Scholas St. Louis team will grow as well. We are currently recruiting for several St.Louis-based roles as we continue to settle into the Gateway to the West. 


Stephen Bloom

Edwin Rivera

Ariel Puntiel

Andrew Rios

Alexander Lopez


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