Per Scholas Announces Urban Development Center

The Urban Development Center is featured in WIRED Magazine “Urban Onshoring: The Movement to Bring Tech Jobs back to the U.S.” stating “The Urban Development Center lends this whole urban on-shoring concept some serious street cred, primarily because of a man named Keith Klain.”

Per Scholas

The Per Scholas philosophy is simple. We believe that one of the most effective solutions to poverty and long-term unemployment in the nation’s lowest-income communities is access to good jobs, along with the ability to succeed in them. We know that many of today’s most promising career opportunities are in the technology sector. Since 1998, Per Scholas has enrolled more than 4,500 unemployed and low-income adults in free IT job training courses. On average, more than 85% of Per Scholas students graduate and among graduates, every 3 out of 4 find jobs.

Doran Jones

Doran Jones, a technology services firm that specializes in software engineering and testing, is the private-sector partner on the software testing job creation initiative with Per Scholas. Founded in 2010 and based in New York, Doran Jones’ clients include Fortune 100 banking and financial services firms. Managed by a world class executive team with extensive experience in all aspects of software development and testing, they are backed by a board with a strong track record in financial services and community investment. Doran Jones COO is Keith Klain, a longstanding Per Scholas supporter, the creator of STEP and the UDC concept, and Per Scholas’ 2014 Person of the Year.

Software Testing course

In August 2013, Per Scholas launched the Software Testing course (formally known as STEP) —an 8-week training that prepares graduates to fill entry-level software testing roles. Per Scholas developed this program in response to the recent global trend of reshoring IT jobs that were initially established and developed overseas. Software testing is projected to expand to a $40 billion global industry by 2020, requiring thousands of new workers to meet the demand.

Delivered on-site in the Bronx, Software Testing is a lab-based training program that integrates field studies, industry experts, and the leading software testing tools. Software Testing was launched through partnerships with Barclays in addition to leaders from across the software testing industry, including Satisfice, QASymphony, UTest, Smartbear, Workroom Productions, DevelopSense, and the Association for Software Testing.

Urban Development Center (UDC)

During the early planning for the Software Testing course, Per Scholas was given the opportunity to bring hundreds of new IT jobs to its home in the South Bronx, one of the poorest Congressional District in the U.S., through the development of an Urban Development Center (UDC)—a software testing center modeled after the large successful testing firms located overseas. The UDC is an innovative partnership that brings together software consulting company Doran Jones, as operator of the center, and Per Scholas as the training provider. Doran Jones will provide software testing services for multiple clients, employing 150 Per Scholas Software Testing graduates within 18 months of opening the UDC doors. New hires will have a starting wage of at least $35,000 with benefits and have accelerated opportunities for advancement. To read more about this innovative project, see here.

Impact in the Bronx

Together, these initiatives will bring an estimated 150 new jobs and more than $5 million in additional wages to the Bronx, while at the same time meeting local business needs, creating domestic jobs, and developing access to middle class opportunities and community development in low income communities. We believe that the economic development impact of the UDC has the potential to spur additional growth in the Bronx, creating a Bronx Technology Corridor.

UDC Timeline

  • Fall 2014 construction begins; Per Scholas continues Software Testing course to ready individuals for operations to begin. Interested applicants can apply for the course here.
  • Summer 2015 UDC opens, Doran Jones begins operations with 50 testers
  • Over the next 12 months onward, operations will build to 150 jobs in all

Sign up for our Monthly Impact Report

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More News

Per Scholas Joins the Military Spouse Employment Partnership through our Vets in Tech Initiative

Last year, Per Scholas joined the Defense Department Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program and Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) alongside more than 70 new partners to MSEP — bringing the number of employers to more than 700. MSEP connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who commit to recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining military spouses. Per Scholas is proud to be part of the MSEP through our Vets in Tech initiative, which will enable Per Scholas to enroll at least 1,000 veterans and military spouses over 3 years.

Per Scholas Receives Approval from the Department of Defense Skillbridge Program Enabling Per Scholas to Empower Military Veterans and Spouses to Launch Thriving Careers in Tech

Per Scholas is excited to announce its approval by the Department of Defense Skillbridge program, which allows transitioning service members to pursue industry training, apprenticeships, or internships while retaining full salary and benefits during their last 180 days of service. This accelerated approval enables Per Scholas to empower veterans and military spouses through its IT Support training track initially, with plans to extend to other tracks soon. Per Scholas aims to enroll 1,000 veterans and military spouses over three years, comprised of at least 80% people of color and 20% women. This initiative, led by Per Scholas' Vets in Tech program, will provide critical support and unlock career opportunities for the military community.

per scholas atlanta

Donate Now

Your support makes a powerful difference in our ability to build a technology talent training solution that creates greater access and equity.


Choose a location for
Your Course

This course is only offered at select Per Scholas locations. Choose a location to get the most accurate course information.