Introducing our newest Per Scholas site: Cincinnati
NATIONAL REPLICATION: CINCINNATI
Cincinnati, Ohio is the next stop on the Per Scholas national growth plan to bring IT industry-targeted training and employment opportunities to Americans in cities where it is needed most. On August 26, Per Scholas opened its second satellite location in Ohio, in the Cincinnati community of Avondale. After a rigorous due diligence process, we determined Cincinnati is an excellent location for Per Scholas IT-Ready training. We examined a number of factors including the IT job market, long-term employment trends, number of adults without post-high school credentials, and possible collaborations with local and regional economic and workforce initiatives.
In Cincinnati, we first met with a number of employer partners in the region, including Pomeroy, Ascendum, Tata Consultancy, and Luxottica. We had extensive conversations with Partners for a Competitive Workforce, a public/private initiative we were introduced to last year. According to the 2020 Jobs Outlook Report, one of the primary positions for which we train—Computer Support Specialist—ranks second among IT jobs that Cincinnati businesses struggle to fill. We will work closely with its members to connect with employers and incorporate our model into their community-wide IT Career Pathways initiative.
Secondly, the Creating IT Futures Foundation (CITFF), our lead funding and implementation partner for national replication, piloted an IT training program in Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013 with excellent outcomes to date: after two pilot classes 90% of the graduates achieved IT certification, and over 70% have secured employment. But because program administration is not the long-term focus of CITFF, and knowing our track record and success in IT sector based training, they asked us to take over implementation and operation of the IT-Ready program.
Finally, Andrea Applegate our Managing Director in Columbus, has agreed to lead our efforts in the region and manage both locations. These and other same state synergies mean we can proceed in Cincinnati more expeditiously and more economically than any other potential location across the U.S. In particular, we expect the time and costs savings to have a real impact on one of the most important metrics we consider: cost per-student. In NYC, the cost per student is approximately $6,900; our goal is to be under $6,000 per student in Ohio.
As we take responsibility for CITFF’s training program in Cincinnati, we will continue to focus on the elements of Per Scholas’ IT-Ready training that are most critical to the success of our students, such as the emphasis on “soft skills” development to supplement the technical training. Another critical element of our approach is the long-term support we provide to our graduates in employment, career development and workplace success. Our goal is not only their continued success, but the success of all the partnerships we have established to change an entire community for the better.
With early funding from CITFF and JPMorgan Chase in Cincinnati, our goals are to kick off our first class of 20 students in 2013 and serve 80 students in 2014. As at our other locations, we expect more than 85% of students will graduate, 85% will earn industry-recognized IT professional certifications and 80% will be placed in jobs.
STATE-WIDE FOCUS ON OHIO’S WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
Per Scholas understands and takes seriously our role in economic and workforce development in Ohio. In order for employers across the state of Ohio to be successful and grow, they must have access to qualified workers to fill open positions. Per Scholas improves the hiring efficiency of Ohio’s businesses by being a direct pipeline for employers to find pre-qualified, trained and certified candidates—individuals they want to hire for positions they need to fill. Through our IT-Ready training in Columbus, we are already helping unemployed and under-employed Ohioans get back into the workforce in entry-level IT jobs that can lead to well-paying careers with businesses—businesses that are critical to Ohio’s economy and are here to stay. We look forward to building on our success in Columbus with our new site in Cincinnati.
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