Per Scholas and Anthem Foundation Together Expand Learner Support Team
Funding will provide one-on-one support services for learners at six Per Scholas campuses across the country over next three years
New York, NY (August 3, 2021) – Today, national skills training nonprofit Per Scholas announced a multi-year grant from the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., to expand its national Learner Support Team. Per Scholas, committed to increasing diversity within the tech sector, nationalized Learner Support at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This grant will expand the tech training organization’s ability to provide virtual wellness workshops, COVID-19 health education, and one-on-one mental health sessions, all with the aim of managing stress and anxiety during the pandemic and beyond.
Through the three-years, with a $700,000 grant from Anthem Foundation, Per Scholas aims to provide more than 5,250 learners across five states and six cities including in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, and New York with robust wellness, stress management, and benefit navigation services.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the physical and mental challenges that Black and brown individuals already face on a day-to-day basis, like career-related anxiety and stress around balancing their work and home life, as well as financial planning. At Per Scholas, we feel it’s our responsibility to support learners throughout their training journey, which is why we’re dedicated to offering robust wellness services as a way to help navigate these challenging times,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO of Per Scholas. “The Anthem Foundation’s commitment will provide vital support to thousands of Per Scholas learners over the next three years, ensuring they have access to not just the tech skills, but the life skills they need to secure a good-paying, middle-class career.”
Additionally, the grant will provide ongoing support to alumni who are two-years post-graduation. It is estimated 30 percent of learners will take advantage of the one-on-one individualized service, which will help to facilitate Per Scholas’ nationwide 80 percent placement rate, ultimately enabling learners and alumni from diverse backgrounds to secure quality careers in the tech field.
“Evidence suggests the lack of diversity in the tech industry, coupled with the pandemic’s economic consequences has impacted this disparity even more, which underscores the importance of addressing racial inequalities in the workforce,” said Felicia Norwood, EVP and President, Government Business Division, Anthem, Inc. “Through our collaboration with Per Scholas, we are working to create a more diverse workforce and build pathways to careers in technology for residents in our communities.”
Since the Learner Support Team began to offer its support nationally in March 2020, more than 600 learners have benefitted from quarterly expert panels featuring established speakers to explore the connection between wellness and professional success; weekly wellness and wealth building series to identify strategies, strengthen skills and build reflective personal practices; and opt-in one on one coaching. Coaching is learner-led and structured around goal setting and building plans to achieve them.
To learn more about Per Scholas and its nationally recognized tech training, now offered in 17 cities across the nation, please visit PerScholas.org.
About Per Scholas
Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for 25 years. Through rigorous training, professional development, and robust employer connections, we prepare individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. We partner with leading employers to build more diverse talent pools, directly connecting our graduates to new career opportunities at businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups. With campuses in 17 major metropolitan areas, Per Scholas has trained more than 14,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit perscholas.org.
About Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organization’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.
Growing to Train More Learners Nationwide
In June, Per Scholas made waves and became a greater source of technical training and career development through several important partnerships, recognitions, and collaborations. With such opportunities to grow and be recognized for the work we are doing to connect skilled individuals that were previously underrepresented in the tech community, our reach is set to grow in the coming months and years.
We’re humbled by growth capital investment from The Studio @ Blue Meridian, an initiative by Blue Meridian Partners, which provides social sector organizations flexible resources so we can test, iterate, and refine our model in order to accelerate readiness to significantly scale. Blue Meridian joins Lever for Change and other critical supporters in powering Per Scholas’ growth to 10,000 learners per year by 2025.
With our Champion Partner, TEKsystems, we graduated our first in-person training since the pandemic began! Learners in New York completed a new customized Low Voltage Technician training program developed specifically for TEKsystems’ career opportunities. We also hosted graduations in Detroit, Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh, resulting in over 75 trained Java Developers and Desktop Support skilled workers, ready for full-time employment.
Per Scholas was named a talent developer by OneTen, a coalition of leading executives who are working to change the approach to recruiting, hiring, advancing and promoting talent to put skills first. Our mission to advance economic equity through rigorous training for tech careers and connecting skilled talent to leading businesses goes hand-in-hand with OneTen’s vision to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black Americans over the next 10 years. “We look forward to having Per Scholas join us as an endorsed talent developer to support us in our mission to hire and advance one million Black talent in the next ten years,” said Maurice Jones, Chief Executive Officer of OneTen. “This effort will require a high functioning, multi-disciplinary coalition from corporate America, talent developers, Black talent, talent supports, and others, and it is crucial we have high quality partners like Per Scholas on that team. We are grateful for the work they have already done and are excited to partner with them going forward.”
In June, we also celebrated the launch of a new New York Satellite Partnership Initiative, removing barriers to better train learners across New York City. Per Scholas New York Managing Director Abe Mendez joined Staten Island Borough President James Oddo to announce this exciting expansion, which will begin to train Staten Islanders in-person through a partnership with the Staten Island Jewish Community Center this fall.
We are proud to again receive a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, recognizing our organization’s commitment to industry best practices. We are also honored to be awarded Guidestar‘s Platinum Seal of Transparency for nonprofits, a recognition we are extremely grateful to receive. These awards and recognitions enable us to build trust with our partners and learners. Because of this trust, we are confident we will be successful in continuing to train and upskill underrepresented individuals for thriving careers in America’s tech workforce, achieving our goal of providing free tech training to more than 3,000 learners this year and growing to 10,000 learners annually by 2025.
Our June News Recap
Here’s a recap of Per Scholas in the news for June! This month, we were featured in the press with articles over Juneteenth, our impact in the New York job market, and featuring our learners and graduates. To read all of our features, be sure to check out our links below!
- One story in Crain’s New York featured our EVP, Kenneth Walker, with an opinion piece about diversity in the workforce in Corporate America. He challenges businesses and organizations to use their resources to diversify their workforce and stated, “companies should be turning to DEI consulting firms to better understand how bias plays out in their workplace so that they can build in processes that eliminate hiring biases that may be preventing diverse talent from joining their teams.”
- Another article in Crains’ New York mentioned one of our learners as Per Scholas aims to lower New York’s unemployment rate through tech training.
- Our New York recent exposure didn’t stop there. We were featured in the New York Times, where it was discussed that the comprehensive training approach has been refined at successful nonprofits, such as Per Scholas, that have spent decades dedicated to lifting people into the middle class.
- Lastly, in Dallas, we were named as a finalist in D CEO’s Nonprofit and Citizenship Awards for Outstanding Innovation in Nonprofits! As we train individuals in technology, innovation is essential, so this nomination and announcement of us as finalists is monumental.
Per Scholas Collaborates with Staten Island for Satellite Partnership Initiative
Per Scholas has collaborated with Staten Island for our Satellite Partnership Initiative to better serve our New York community with a Staten Island site. Per Scholas New York Managing Director Abe Mendez met with Borough President James Oddo to announce this exciting expansion news that is set to begin this fall at the Jewish Community Center.
With a fifth of New York’s open jobs being in technology, it is fitting that we begin to target the Staten Island community with our growth. On our collaboration, Oddo said, “This is a world-class entity that is doing this training and job placement. This is the best in this genre. And it’s been doing great things in the other four boroughs. We’re essentially starting the relationship between Staten Island and Per Scholas, and in the fall bringing them to a home on Staten Island, which will be the JCC.”
Per Scholas Endorsed as OneTen Talent Developer
Coalition of CEOs Commit to Create 1 Million Jobs for Black Americans Over 10 Years
Bronx, N.Y. (June 9, 2021) – For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has advanced economic equity through technology, and today it has been endorsed as a talent developer by One Ten, a coalition of leading executives who are working to change the approach to recruiting, hiring, advancing and promoting talent to put skills first.
“We look forward to having Per Scholas join us as an endorsed talent developer to support us in our mission to hire and advance one million Black talent in the next ten years,” said Maurice Jones, Chief Executive Officer of OneTen. “This effort will require a high functioning, multi-disciplinary coalition from corporate America, talent developers, Black talent, talent supports, and others, and it is crucial we have high quality partners like Per Scholas on that team. We are grateful for the work they have already done and are excited to partner with them going forward.”
Companies participating in OneTen have committed to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black individuals in America over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. The network of OneTen talent developers represents leading local, regional, and national education and skill-building organizations that support diverse talent without 4-year degrees to identify, develop, and build high-value skills.
“Per Scholas is proud to stand alongside OneTen and humbled by our endorsement as a preferred talent developer. We’ve long been committed to offer rigorous, high-quality training to individuals often excluded from tech careers, and nearly 90% of our learners over our history are Black and brown talent,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO of Per Scholas. “We know the power of connecting individuals to careers where they can thrive and are looking forward to creating even more pathways for Black Americans for high-growth tech careers through our work together.”
By working with OneTen, Per Scholas will create more equitable access to opportunity and advancement as we serve thousands of learners a year at our 17 campuses and remotely across the nation. Together, we will create more flexible talent pipelines and practices that will enable both employees and employers to thrive.
OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. We connect employers with talent partners, leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens. Join us at OneTen.org.
About Per Scholas
Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for 25 years. Through rigorous training, professional development, and robust employer connections, we prepare individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. We partner with leading employers to build more diverse talent pools, directly connecting our graduates to new career opportunities at businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups. With campuses in 17 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 14,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit PerScholas.org.
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