DesignDATA Sources Premier Talent from Per Scholas

Wayne Toles works as a Service Desk Manager at DesignDATA, an IT consulting firm responsible for supporting clients across the National Capital Region. His day to day is spent mentoring and most importantly hiring technical talent to work at his desk. This is the hardest part of his job. “When I am looking for new engineers,” Wayne says, “the main thing you need to prove is an ability to communicate — with your supervisors — with your team members- — with your customers.”

Wayne returned from a family vacation and found a new hire working at his desk. This new employee had the communication skills, had the customer service skills and had the technical troubleshooting skills. Wayne asked where he had come from — talent is hard to find and a good referral source is coveted in the IT industry — the response was Per Scholas. Wayne attended the next Per Scholas job fair and hired three graduates on the spot. “They came onboard, I watched them succeed as excellent employees and management started taking notice.”

Three years later Wayne has seven Per Scholas graduates working at his desk. He explained, “I was really trying to work on diversifying my workforce because of my client base…I want my clients to hear people that sound like them, look like them and can relate to them. The only way to do that is to build a diverse team from all different places.” His team’s success has been outstanding. “One of the biggest benefits that I’ve noticed are the soft skills that Per Scholas graduates bring to our helpdesk. Our clients love the diversity represented and the customer service and care our technicians provide.”

Adrian is one of Wayne’s recent hires. Adrian transitioned between jobs while taking classes at a community college, however, the courses were expensive and Adrian did not think he was learning applicable skills relevant to the market. When he came across Per Scholas he thought it was “too good to be true,” — relevant hands on experience and placement support. Most of all, Adrian felt that Per Scholas prepared him with a professional business mindset. In his own words: “Per Scholas changed my life completely by providing me with the skills and knowledge that could have taken four expensive years. I feel more accomplished and independent now that I am A+ certified.”

Wayne hired Adrian as a service desk engineer at DesignDATA where he is currently working alongside other members of his graduating class. Wayne says, “The quality of candidates I receive from Per Scholas is excellent. It has been echoed all the way up to the president of our company and to the CEO of our parent company.”

Doyon, DesignDATA’s parent corporation based in Alaska, has decided to take advantage of Per Scholas training and flown staff members across the country to learn the technical and professional skills taught in Per Scholas classrooms. Melissa Stallings, Senior Director, Per Scholas says, “We are thrilled to partner with DesignDATA and Doyan for what has become a mutually beneficial partnership. DesignDATA is benefiting from the excellence and diversity of our graduates and we are able to provide new careers to overlooked workers across our region.”

“I don’t get passionate about many things,” says Wayne, “but I am passionate about Per Scholas. When I hear colleagues in my networks say they are searching for technical talent I’ll ask – have you considered hiring from Per Scholas?”

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