Per Scholas St. Louis Hosts Inaugural Graduation

Per Scholas St. Louis Hosts Inaugural Graduation

Eleven technologists trained in cybersecurity skills ready to enter the local job market

ST. LOUIS (November 16, 2022) – Earlier this month, 11 learners successfully graduated from Per Scholas’ inaugural Cybersecurity course in St. Louis. For more than 27 years, the national nonprofit has advanced economic equity through its tuition-free technology skills training, professional development, and employer connections. Per Scholas announced its expansion to St. Louis as part of the Cortex Innovation Community earlier this year. The launch of Per Scholas St. Louis would not have been possible without the generous contributions of The Bellwether Foundation, the William T. Kemper Foundation, and Bank of America.

“We are so proud of our Cybersecurity graduates. The commitment, dedication, and determination of our learners to succeed is nothing short of inspiring,” said Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr., Per Scholas St. Louis Managing Director. “Our graduates are ready to enter the St. Louis workforce with the cyber skills they need to succeed day one on the job.”

Per Scholas St. Louis Managing Director at graduation

Per Scholas St. Louis graduates have mastered Linux, network administration, behavioral analytics, security monitoring including how to detect and combat cyber threats, threat management, cyber incident response, and more. Learners participated in live, instructor-led training that featured hands-on activities using real world servers, tools, and technologies.

Aligned with its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, three in four Per Scholas St. Louis learners are people of color, more than a quarter identify as women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential.

Per Scholas St. Louis Inaugural Graduates

“Partnerships like the one we have with Per Scholas are critical to meeting our mission to accelerate inclusive economic growth in the region,” said Sam Fiorello, CEO of Cortex Innovation Community, the home of Per Scholas St. Louis. “These first Per Scholas St. Louis graduates, and the many more that will graduate in the coming years, represent what Cortex can really do to make our region better.”

In early December, Per Scholas St. Louis will offer its popular IT Support training as its second course offering. Learners have the opportunity to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate as well as the CompTIA A+ certification and gain knowledge to fill a variety of entry-level tech roles. Applications are due November 21 and can be accessed by visiting PerScholas.org/StLouis.

About Cortex Innovation Community: Cortex is a vibrant space serving as an inclusive economic engine for St. Louis. Cortex creates equitable economic impacts by leveraging high-quality facilities, developing programs that build knowledge and networks, and convening strategic partnerships that attract and support emerging and established companies. Founded in 2002 through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC HealthCare, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Cortex Innovation Community (CortexSTL.org) is an internationally recognized hub of innovation and entrepreneurship that is focused on accelerating inclusive economic growth in St. Louis.

About Per Scholas: Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for more than 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 19 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 17,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Peter Barron

Erin McDonald

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. 

 

Per Scholas St. Louis Featured by Flyover Future

Per Scholas St. Louis is offering cost-free tech training to the St. Louis community in response to the many open tech jobs in the city.  This campus launched at the beginning of April with the first Cybersecurity cohort to begin in June.  Flyover Future featured an interview with Per Scholas St. Louis Managing Director Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr., and Vice President of Communications Sara Luciano to learn more about Per Scholas.

Per Scholas St. Louis table with team members standing behind it

On our expansion to St. Louis, Dr. Mackey mentioned, “One of the things we looked at was CompTIA’s April jobs report. St. Louis ranked seventh in the nation for the most new tech job postings. And after talking with some local employers and partners, cybersecurity seemed to be on the forefront. So that helped the decision to make our first cohort there around cybersecurity. Also, the alignment made sense because the Global Center for Cybersecurity is also located at Cortex Innovation Community.”

To learn more about our expansion to St. Louis and read the full feature, click here.

Per Scholas Highlighted in St. Louis Business Journal

Per Scholas Featured by St. Louis Public Radio

Per Scholas St. Louis was featured in St. Louis Public Radio for our partnership with Cortex Innovation Community. With this partnership, we will offer a free, 15-week cybersecurity training for people of color and women interested in tech careers.

Dr. Charlie Mackey Jr. is the Managing Director of Per Scholas and hopes to bring more underrepresented individuals to the tech industry through this partnership and training. “Historically, underrepresented people aren’t working in the tech fields, because they’re like, ‘Well, I have to go to the West Coast, or it’s not available here,’” Mackey said. “By coming here, we can not only help bridge that gap, but also reframe it to where you can get that technology training right here, and then find a job here.”

With our expansion to St. Louis, we are able to offer our tuition-free, rigorous technical training as the latest addition to Cortex. Per Scholas has advanced economic equity for more than 25 years by offering evidence-based, tuition-free technology training and connecting Per Scholas graduates to high-growth careers in technology. Aligned with its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, 85 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color, and more than a third identify as women. Graduates are hired into tech roles by more than 650 employer partners nationwide, ranging from Fortune 500 to innovative startups.

Check out the full feature on the St. Louis NPR site here.

Per Scholas St. Louis Expanding Tech Training Offerings with Cortex Innovation Community

Per Scholas St. Louis has officially launched, expanding our tech training offering to our 18th city as part of Cortex Innovation Community. Our partnership is part of a strategic plan to bring more tech companies and jobs to the St. Louis community. We will begin by offering Cybersecurity training, scheduled to start in June 2022.

Read more in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here!

Per Scholas Expands Cybersecurity and Tech Training Offerings to St. Louis

Per Scholas Expands Cybersecurity and Tech Training Offerings to St. Louis 

Cortex Innovation Community Welcomes Per Scholas As Part of Strategy To Accelerate Region’s Inclusive Economic Growth

ST. LOUIS (April 4, 2022) — National tech training nonprofit Per Scholas today announced its expansion to St. Louis and the appointment of Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr. as Per Scholas St. Louis Managing Director. Through an innovative partnership with Cortex Innovation Community, Per Scholas St. Louis will offer its tuition-free, rigorous technical training as the latest addition to Cortex, from its newest campus, located at 20 S. Sarah Street in the District. 

Sam Fiorello, Cortex President & CEO, said, “Cortex is thrilled to welcome Per Scholas and Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr. to the St. Louis community. The St. Louis region has a large number of unfilled jobs, particularly in growing areas like cybersecurity; adding Per Scholas to the existing infrastructure of local training partners will strengthen the support necessary to employ under-skilled workers and fill these critical job openings in the St. Louis region.” 

Per Scholas has advanced economic equity for more than 25 years by offering evidence-based, tuition-free technology training and connecting Per Scholas graduates to high-growth careers in technology. Aligned with its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, 85 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color, and more than a third identify as women. Graduates are hired into tech roles by more than 650 employer partners nationwide, ranging from Fortune 500 to innovative startups. 

“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,” said Dr. Charlie Mackey, Per Scholas St. Louis Managing Director. “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. Per Scholas St. Louis is excited to join CyberUp and NPower in training St. Louis’ future technologists. Together, I’m confident we’ll be able to achieve our shared vision of a more inclusive and diverse tech workforce here in St. Louis.”

In 2022, Per Scholas St. Louis will offer Cybersecurity and IT Support skills training and is currently accepting applications for its Cybersecurity cohort, scheduled to begin on June 17. 

The Cortex Innovation Community is committed to partnering with employers, training providers and academic institutions to grow and attract quality jobs and prepare a diversity of talent to fill those jobs. Partnering with Per Scholas to fill the need for skilled talent in cybersecurity and tech is a critical component of Cortex’s recently released 5-year strategic plan. 

“It takes focused, intentional collaboration to achieve a vision as ambitious as an equitable, inclusive, and diverse workforce, and Per Scholas is grateful to Cortex for their leadership and warm welcome to St. Louis. The opportunity before us is great, and with Charlie at the helm, I know Per Scholas St. Louis will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our learners, their families, and the newest city Per Scholas is proud to call home,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas. 

Per Scholas St. Louis will participate in the Cybersecurity Minicon, hosted by The Global Center for Cybersecurity @ Cortex on April 7. For additional details and to register, click here.  

To learn more about Per Scholas St. Louis, click here. To learn more about Cortex Innovation Community, www.cortexstl.org.  

About Cortex Innovation Community: Cortex is a vibrant space serving as an inclusive economic engine for St. Louis. Cortex creates equitable economic impacts by leveraging high-quality facilities, developing programs that build knowledge and networks, and convening strategic partnerships that attract and support emerging and established companies. Founded in 2002 through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC HealthCare, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Cortex Innovation Community (CortexSTL.org) is an internationally recognized hub of innovation and entrepreneurship that is focused on accelerating inclusive economic growth in St. Louis. 

About Per Scholas: Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for more than 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 18 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 16,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

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Dr. Charlie Mackey, Jr.