Per Scholas Participates in White House Ceremony Celebrating Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint
On November 15, during National Apprenticeship Week, Per Scholas participated in a White House ceremony celebrating the Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint. The event featured remarks from senior White House and agency officials including Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su and Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense John Sherman on the importance of Registered Apprenticeship in building a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce. The signing ceremony recognized a number of representatives from industry associations and training providers, including Per Scholas Chief Training Officer Jasmine Miller.
“National Apprenticeship Week reminds Americans of the tremendous benefits that Registered Apprenticeships provide to workers and employers,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “A long-honored approach to educating workers and preparing them for stable careers, today’s Registered Apprenticeships are being revitalized here in the U.S. as a proven strategy that equips workers – especially women and other underrepresented and underserved communities – with marketable skills sought in high-demand industries.”
According to the 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap report, 60 percent of organizations struggle to recruit cybersecurity talent, more than half struggle to retain qualified people, and two in three agree that a shortage of cybersecurity candidates creates risk for their organization.
Per Scholas has been offering Cybersecurity training since 2016, first in New York, and today in more than half of our markets nationwide based on demand from both employer partners and learners alike. Yet, we see that our graduates have difficulty breaking into a cybersecurity career without hands-on job experience.
That’s why Per Scholas is so enthusiastic about participating in the Registered Apprenticeship Program, led by the United States Department of Labor. The proven earn-while-you-learn model aims to build a pipeline of skilled workers with a focus on underserved communities. The Registered Apprenticeship Program will enable Per Scholas to partner with employers over a longer on-ramp on 12 months that will provide training, on-the-job experience, and mentorship as a pathway to longer term career advancement. Eleven employer partners formally supported Per Scholas in the application process, with more expressing interest.
Tech Women of Color Cohort Featured in Local News
Per Scholas Columbus launched their innovative Tech Women of Color training in July with an IT Fundamentals cohort. The workforce initiative will train 200 women over the next two years to have in-demand tech skills to launch their tech careers, and was featured on local ABC Television affiliate ABC 6. The training includes a tuition-free, 15-week course and will prepare women with professional development and technical skills.
Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jennifer Fowler Howard was interviewed for the feature and discussed how the Tech Women of Color initiative will diversify the tech industry to include more women of color. “Representation matters and I think that because you don’t often see women of color in that space often you don’t think you belong in that space,” Jennifer mentioned.
The first Tech Women of Color cohort graduates on November 4, 2022.
Per Scholas Pittsburgh Partners with Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania
Per Scholas Pittsburgh is excited to announce our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania! The partnership will launch a program for individuals in the region to launch high-growth tech careers.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (BGCWPA), a provider of education, recreation, and healthy lifestyles programs for individuals ages 3-24, and Per Scholas announced this new collaboration to connect underrepresented individuals to information technology (IT) careers, eliminate barriers to employment in this growing field, and enable learners from diverse backgrounds to pursue living wage careers in the Pittsburgh region. This workforce development initiative is generously funded by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
“There is an incredible amount of opportunity in Pittsburgh right now for individuals aspiring to join the tech workforce,” said Todd Derby, Managing Director of Per Scholas Pittsburgh. “At Per Scholas, we provide the necessary training to ensure that diverse and resilient Pittsburgh area residents can get access to digital careers and take advantage of thriving wage opportunities.”
Noses On! Per Scholas Among 2022 Red Nose Day Grantee Partners
Per Scholas is honored to be among this year’s Red Nose Day grantee partners through a matching grant partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal! In its eighth year, Red Nose Day is a beloved fundraising event by Comic Relief US to help end the cycle of child poverty and ensure a healthy, empowered future for all children and youth. Per Scholas helps change trajectories by preparing our learners, many of whom are youth or have children, to launch life-changing careers in technology by participating in our rigorous, cost-free tech skills training.
As we train our learners to start a career in tech through IT support, cybersecurity, software engineering, and more, we prepare individuals to have a well-rounded skill set that creates economic equity and financial stability for their families.
Per Scholas Chicago Graduate Veronica Vergara applied to Per Scholas to create her own path of opportunity that was flexible so she could be available for her daughter, if needed. Veronica’s daughter suffered from serious health problems previously, so she quit work to focus on her daughter’s health. A year and a half later, Veronica’s daughter’s condition had greatly improved, and Veronica began preparing to rejoin the workforce. Her husband worked in IT and she admired many features of his job, including its flexibility and good pay, which is why she applied to Per Scholas to launch her IT career.
Another example of how Per Scholas’s cost-free tech training has enhanced our learners’ lives and the lives of their children is through Sadaf Haroon, a Per Scholas Dallas Software Engineering graduate. Sadaf, an immigrant mother of three, was at first intimidated to resume a career in the thriving field of tech. “Per Scholas made it easier for me to learn and now I am an earning member of my family. What can be greater than that?”
In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more children have faced hunger, homelessness, and a growing learning gap, making those programs, funded by Red Nose Day, more crucial than ever.
This Red Nose Day marks a return to the tradition of coming together in person to have fun, raise money, and change lives. The annual campaign’s signature Red Nose, the universal symbol for Red Nose Day, will be back and available exclusively at nearly 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide for just $1 each, with 100% of all proceeds benefiting Red Nose Day. Customers may also donate in stores via pin-pad at checkout, as well as online to receive a Digital Red Nose filter, and can show support donning a real Red Nose or virtual one!
Tune in on May 26th to NBC, which is supporting the Red Nose Day campaign across the network and through cross-portfolio programming features.
Per Scholas Featured in The Columbus Dispatch for Tech Women of Color Workforce Initiative
The Columbus Dispatch featured Per Scholas in an article featuring our Tech Women of Color workforce initiative. This initiative is supported by a $4.5 million grant that was unanimously approved by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners on International Women’s Day. The free, 15-week course will kick off in July and aims to train 200 women of color in cohorts over the next two years.
“We are grateful to the Franklin County Board of Commissioners for providing us the opportunity to be of service to our community, and to our local partners who will come alongside us as we seek to make a transformative impact in this county,” stated Jenn Fowler Howard, Senior Director of the Tech Women of Color Alliance. “We recognize that this project will not only change the lives of the women who participate but will also build stronger families, communities, and businesses for years to come.”
This workforce initiative is part of Per Scholas’s ongoing goal to promote the presence of women in tech.
2021 Year In Review
There were many moments and happenings in 2021 which built on Per Scholas’ mission, closing out with our End of Year fundraising campaign which raised more than $4 million to support learners. Per Scholas is proud to have enrolled nearly 3,000 individuals to our cost-free tech training to advance economic equity.
The past year, we expanded across the nation and opened three new campuses in partnership with TEKsystems! In February, Per Scholas launched a Full Stack Java Developer course in Pittsburgh, graduating 20 Java Developers in its inaugural cohort. In May, we expanded our presence to the West Coast and successfully launched our first cohorts in Seattle and Phoenix, bringing our campus count to 17! Full-stack technology service provider TEKsystems fueled these customized training tracks, with initial cohorts also focused on Java Development. In Phoenix, 19 graduates mastered specific technical skills employers seek in entry and mid-level Java Developers. Seattle also hosted 19 Java Developer graduates.
We kicked off The Right Career Changes Everything, our End of Year fundraising campaign, to ensure that the right career is accessible to everyone. Shortly after we began our fundraising, Per Scholas was selected as a winner of the 2021 Holiday Impact Prize, presented by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and supported by Focusing Philanthropy. The award also opened up visibility for Per Scholas’ campaign for additional funding. Donations received through the Holiday Impact Prize will support Per Scholas’s Career Access Fund, which provides learners with everything they need to participate in the tuition-free tech training including laptops, Wi-Fi, textbooks, learning kits, lab supplies, certification exam costs, learner support services, and more.
In all, we raised more than $4 million in large thanks to a generous match contribution from individuals at Jane Street as well as gifts from 1,200 supporters nationwide. This remarkable result will go directly toward advancing economic equity for our learners.
Overall, 2021 was a momentous year for Per Scholas with immense growth internally and with our campuses. For over 26 years, we have advanced economic equity through access to technology careers, and our growth and development in 2021 will propel us to continue to do so through 2022, where we plan to train 30 percent more learners and open at least three more campuses.
Per Scholas Commits to Training Thousands of Black Learners in Support of OneTen
An endorsed talent development partner for OneTen, Per Scholas’s commitment will help the coalition reach its goal of training and creating jobs for one million Black Americans
New York, N.Y. (October 7, 2021) – For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has advanced economic equity through in-demand technology training, and this week, the nonprofit announced its plan to train tens of thousands of Black learners over the next ten years in support of OneTen – a coalition of leading corporate executives, talent developers, and community leaders who are committed to training, hiring, and advancing Black talent for family-sustaining career opportunities.
The training commitment is the latest move by Per Scholas to prepare BIPOC workers for high-growth careers in technology. In June, OneTen announced Per Scholas as an endorsed talent developer to advance its mission of expanding career pathways for one million Black Americans over the next decade.
“Per Scholas has always understood the value of training individuals for high-growth careers where they can thrive and build a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities – which is why we’re doing everything possible to expand and scale our training programs to underrepresented talent across the U.S.,” said Plinio Ayala, President, and CEO of Per Scholas. “As part of our work, we could not be more proud to stand alongside OneTen as we commit to training one in every 10 Black Americans that OneTen will reach for life-changing careers in technology – playing a significant role in what is hopefully the end of the lingering opportunity gap in America.”
In addition to this latest training commitment, Per Scholas also presented the Diverse by Design North Star Awards – which celebrates and honors leaders who are transforming diversity in the technology sector and beyond. The inaugural award recipients include:
- Jay Alvather, President of TEKsystems: Building on 20 years of service to TEKsystems, Alvather was appointed President of the global provider of technology, business, and talent solutions in 2015. Inclusion and diversity have always been core to his work, and he has been integral in making a more streamlined, direct connection between in-demand employment opportunities and diverse talent. TEKsystems is pleased to continue their support of Per Scholas’s national expansion plans in 2022 and beyond.
- Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer for Comcast Corporation, and President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation: Wilson-Scott leads all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and philanthropic strategy for the global corporation, including the company’s $100 million dollar commitment to advancing social justice and equality in today’s workforce. Comcast NBCUniversal has also made a tremendous investment in Per Scholas, enabling the nonprofit to grow its training and reach more aspiring technologists amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen: Jones is on a mission to help OneTen close the opportunity gap for Black talent in America, partnering with corporate leaders from all sectors and industries to upskill, hire, and promote one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs. This decade-long commitment will be transformational to our nation and directly beneficial to the communities where we live, work, and play.
“It was a tremendous honor to present our inaugural Diverse by Design North Star Awards to Jay, Dalila, and Maurice earlier this week,” said Damien Howard, Executive Vice President of Social Ventures at Per Scholas and Co-Founder of Diverse by Design. “Much like the North Star – a collection of the brightest and most brilliant stars in the night sky – these leaders and their organizations serve as a beacon. Their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are bright, awe-inspiring, and inspirational.”
Per Scholas will train more than 3,000 learners this year – 90% of whom are Black and brown talent – remotely and across 17 campuses. On average, 85% of learners accepted into Per Scholas will go on to graduate, 80% of graduates will secure employment at an average wage of at least $20 an hour, and 75% will retain employment beyond one year in their field. Historically, alumni will also make roughly four times more in their first job after graduation than their pre-training wage.
Editor’s Note: High-resolution photos of the Diverse by Design North Star Award presentation are available upon request. Please contact Sara Luciano at (332) 895-0051 or by email at [email protected].
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.
About Diverse by Design
Diverse by Design, powered by Per Scholas and ITSMF, promotes solutions-driven conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion within tech, produces meaningful content that empowers c-suite leaders to make both valuable and socially impactful business decisions and provides access to sophisticated customized training and talent sourcing solutions to meet companies’ talent demands while transforming the diversity landscape of their organizations. To learn more, visit diversebydesign.org.
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 nonprofits, and other skill-credentialing organizations that support the 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.
Per Scholas Phoenix’s Diversity Initiatives Featured in AZ Tech Beat
Per Scholas Phoenix’s Managing Director, Jaclyn Boyes, discusses the diversity initiatives Per Scholas is taking in Arizona and how the focus of this training program is the equity of opportunity to pursue a career in tech. “There’s a lot of overlooked talent here — Black, brown, female talent in particular — who are unemployed or underemployed, and they can have a successful career in tech,” Boyes said.
This AZ Tech Beat article mentions how companies can get more diversity in their startup, the benefits of diversifying companies now, and Jaclyn’s take on community impact with Per Scholas in Phoenix. Jaclyn mentions how Per Scholas is impacting economic justice in the community when she mentioned, “these are really the jobs of today, the jobs that can change the course of a person’s life and their children’s life. What we’re working on is really economic justice here.”
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.”