Per Scholas Technologists Discuss Creating a More Diverse Workforce in The Muse Article

Four Per Scholas alumnae were interviewed and featured in an article for The Muse, the first values-based career platform, helping individuals connect with jobs, companies, and careers that align with their core values and priorities.

Anita Bailey, Rumana Syed, Fabianna Rodriguez-Mercado, and Misty Branch all underscored the need to diversify the tech workforce and how Per Scholas is doing so through our no-cost training, where a third of our learners are women and 85% are people of color.

“Tech is an industry that’s evolving and will continue evolving,” Rodriguez-Mercado says. “We need more women and underrepresented communities to be part of these conversations.”

Read the full article for The Muse here!



Per Scholas North Carolina Featured on WBTV Highlighting $1 Million Grant from Truist Foundation

Per Scholas North Carolina’s training and $1 million grant from Truist Foundation was featured on WBTV’s news program. Dedrick Russell, Executive Producer for Community Content at WBTV spoke with Jeff Jones, Per Scholas North Carolina alumni, and Kim Gomme, current learner, to get their insight and experience with their training.

The campus’s Managing Director Mike Terrell discussed the impact of the $1 million grant in expanding to rural communities and how having a diverse workforce is necessary for the industry.

Watch the full feature here and read more about the segment here.


Per Scholas Cyber Apprenticeships: Nationally Needed, Locally Ready to Close Talent Gaps

Per Scholas Cyber Apprenticeships:

 Nationally Needed, Locally Ready to Close Talent Gaps


On the last day of July, the White House and the Office of the National Cyber Director announced a National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES) unique in vision and approach at a time where there are over 755,000 Cybersecurity jobs open in the United States. At Per Scholas, we applaud the administration in accelerating its focus on the cyber workforce across sectors, along with the organizations who have made commitments to support this effort – ranging from the National Security Agency (NSA) to Microsoft to MassBay Community College. We too have made a significant commitment to support and fuel our nation’s need for skilled cyber technologists. 

Solving for the Cyber Skills Shortage: Per Scholas Registered Apprenticeships Align with White House Workforce and Education Strategy

NCWES lays critical groundwork to equip every American with foundational cybersecurity skills, transform cyber education in the U.S, and expand and enhance the national cyber workforce. It emphasizes competency-based cyber education, making this education more affordable and accessible, promoting skills-based hiring, and attracting and hiring a more qualified and diverse cyber workforce. Per Scholas shares these commitments, and has been hard at work tailoring an innovative solution to provide more employers with diverse cyber talent, while connecting workers that have been historically underrepresented in the industry to viable cyber career paths: Cybersecurity Support Technician Registered Apprenticeships.

Playing to Our Strengths: Per Scholas Cyber Capabilities, Commitments, and Cost Savings

For more than 25 years, Per Scholas thrives in understanding talent market needs and designing aligned solutions. We are perhaps most known across our 22 (and counting!) U.S. campuses for our pre-employment training programs, but these are not our only available skills training opportunities! We are currently registered with the Department of Labor as a National Program Sponsor for Cybersecurity apprenticeships, and in the process of confirming our 2024 employer partnerships.

Why should an employer consider Per Scholas Cybersecurity apprenticeships? 

Our Cyber roots run deep. Per Scholas has placed its graduates with over 850 companies and organizations, and since 2016 we have prepared over 2,000 diverse adults for entry- and mid-level Cyber roles. Through our Cybersecurity training, our apprentices obtain CompTIA CYSA+, Splunk, and Cisco certifications. Barclays – one of our first Cybersecurity employer partners – recognized the potential early on, and worked with us to establish our first Cyber curriculum tailored toward entry-level individuals aspiring to join the Cybersecurity field. Within this inaugural partnership, over 40 Per Scholas grads were hired into Barclays as apprentices, interns, or full-time hires; 30% of the graduating training class identified as women, and 13% as veterans. Rita McCaffrey, a Barclays Program Manager, highlighted that “engaging women, underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities brings essential perspectives to problem solving” and that “in order for us to meet the emerging workforce skills gap, we must – all businesses must – work to foster innovation through diverse perspectives and experiences.” (1)

We are committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech. Per Scholas graduates are 85% people of color and over 40% women. Over ⅓ of these individuals are adults under 30 early on in their careers, and ⅔ do not have a 4 year degree. When we say that we are expanding the Cyber talent pool, we mean it. Nationwide is one company that can attest to our ability to train and place underrepresented talent in apprenticeship roles, and to how much these individuals succeed when given the opportunity. In the field of software engineering – another domain with talent and diversity gaps – Nationwide has taken on 49 Per Scholas apprentices; thus far, they have hired over 80% of them on full-time based on how well apprentices learned and performed on the job and position openings within Nationwide’s teams.

The ROI on apprenticeships is there. For every $1 invested in apprenticeship, organizations realize an average return of $1.47. (2)  Through our yearlong Registered Apprenticeship Program, Cyber apprentices are paid on a progressive wage scale; this is a cost effective way to cultivate talent, even before potential tax credits and subsidies accessible at the state and federal levels. When Per Scholas builds an apprenticeship partnership, one of the first things we do together is review the employer’s job description(s) and workplace needs with our Cyber work plan comprised of over 80 competencies and 2000+ hours of on-the-job experience; together, we help employers come out with talent trained in their specific technical needs and experienced in their company’s norms and culture.

Seeking Employer Partnerships: Let’s Tackle this Challenge Together

We are actively working to close Cyber talent gaps, while generating sustainable career pathways in the Cyber field. Sharing the comprehensive vision of the NCWES, we aim to transform Cyber skill acquisition, career development, and companies’ abilities to protect their assets in an increasingly complex digital environment. If this is something that excites you – let’s work together! We are taking on a limited number of apprenticeship partners this fall, and look forward to seeing the transformative impact apprenticeship can have within your organization. Contact us at [email protected] to begin the conversation.




Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard Provides Thought Leadership and Insight at CIO Tomorrow Conference

On Thursday, August 10, Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard attended CIO Tomorrow’s conference, Next/Gen – Leveling Up the Next Generation of IT, and spoke during a breakout sessionBuilding Next Gen Talent Pipeline. The conference was held in Columbus and featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and innovative live sessions to re-think the limiting approach to sourcing talent and proactively shore-up the perceived skills gap by tapping into untapped talent. 

As a panelist on the Building Next Gen Talent Pipelines breakout discussion, Jenn Fowler Howard underscored the importance of alternative talent pipelines and the skills of Per Scholas alumni as technologists. The panel focused on building future tech talent, growing organization-wide digital fluency, and deliberately curating culture and belonging to enhance organizations’ talent pipelines. In this session, panelists discussed the next steps leaders need to take to harness the power of their people and technology, while growing the culture needed to achieve their future vision. Joining Jenn Fowler Howard as panelists were Geoff Bauer, Supervisor, IT Flexible Apprenticeship at Columbus State Community College; Anand Sekaran, Associate Director at Accenture; and moderator Allison Shock, Managing Director – Banking Future of Work Lead at Accenture.

During her remarks, Jenn Fowler Howard reflected on the ways alternative, non-traditional talent pipelines can enhance innovation within today’s IT industry, stating, “I’d love to begin to evolve our language so it’s empowered. To me, the definition of a non-traditional talent pipeline are individuals with different journeys. They’re stars – skilled through alternate routes – at a proven, evidence-based training program like Per Scholas Columbus, through military service, on the job experience…Diversity of thought drives innovation, better collaboration, and better results for individuals, families, communities, companies, and our local economies.”

Learn more about the CIO Tomorrow Next/Gen – Leveling Up the Next Generation of IT conference here.

Jim Shelton, President & Chief Investment and Impact Officer at Blue Meridian Partners, Delivers Commencement Address at Recent Per Scholas New York Graduation

Per Scholas was humbled to welcome Jim Shelton, President & Chief Investment and Impact Officer at Blue Meridian Partners to deliver the commencement address for a recent IT Support Graduation at Per Scholas New York!

Nineteen tenacious, talented individuals walked into our flagship Bronx campus as Per Scholas learners, and left as Per Scholas technologists, including Cohort Valedictorian Victor Garcia and Core Values Winners Erick Smith (Ambition); Chris Hernandez (Integrity); Stephany Mensah (Professionalism); Ariel Rodriguez (Resourcefulness); Eboni Coleman (Perseverance) and Ciara Valentin (Commitment to Service)

During his Commencement Address, Jim Shelton shared 5 Questions that Matter When Doing Something Great, giving all attendees lots of principles and tenants to keep at the core. Many Per Scholas New York and National team colleagues were on-hand to join in the celebration, including President and CEO Plinio Ayala and Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill.

Per Scholas Columbus Featured on Out N About Columbus

Per Scholas Columbus was featured on a recent Out N About Columbus segment on Sunday, August 20. The show focuses on events, entertainment, and travel around Columbus, and often has segments dedicated to important happenings around town. 

On the segment, “Learn Something New,” hosts Mike Killburn and Renee Joseph discussed different topics, including Per Scholas Columbus’s technology training. Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard underscored the importance of tech training in Columbus and the power of our learners. In her interview, highlighted the ways Per SCholas eliminates barriers, helping unlock potential for learners and alumni to launch thriving careers. Watch the full feature here, starting at timestamp 9:23!


Per Scholas St. Louis Celebrates IT Support Graduation with 21 Technologists

On August 18th, Per Scholas St. Louis celebrated its largest graduation yet as 21 learners graduated from the most recent IT Support course. The cohort was incredibly diverse, ranging in age from 19 to 50 years old, included  11 men and 10 women, several of whom were parents. The graduating technologists originated from a variety of professional backgrounds, including retail, warehouse work, and finance, but all are now fully prepped to launch high-growth careers in tech.

Hosted by Deputy Chief Training Officer Noah Mitchell, graduates in attendance heard from our community partner, Tydrell Stevens, Regional Director of Save Our Sons, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, who congratulated the new graduates and spoke about our organizations’ joint missions. 

Attendees also heard from the selected class speaker, Kristina Henderson, before receiving their certificates, officially graduating from the IT Support program. Next followed the presentation of the Core Value Honors. At every graduation, honors are bestowed to graduates who exemplify our core values of Ambition, Integrity, Professionalism, Resourcefulness, Perseverance, and Commitment to Service. The awards for the graduating St. Louis IT Support cohort were as follows:

  • Ambition – Allen Morgan
  • Integrity – Srilatha Ramakrishna
  • Professionalism – Isaiah Word
  • Resourcefulness – Brian Green II
  • Perseverance – Myiesha McCray
  • Commitment to Service – Karen Taylor

The Keynote Address was presented by Sam Fiorello, President & CEO of Cortex Innovation Community. Cortex Innovation Community graciously welcomed Per Scholas St. Louis as it technical skills trainer of choice to ensure a more equitable and inclusive St. Louis. 

Finally, the event featured a special message from Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala. Plinio congratulated the graduates on their incredible accomplishment, encouraging Per Scholas alumni to always continue learning and growing, and wished them luck as they embarked on their newfound careers in the tech industry. Watch Plinio’s video message here. 

Learn more about upcoming training opportunities at Per Scholas St. Louis and apply by visiting

Per Scholas Greater Boston Technologists Thriving with MassTLC Member Companies

Earlier in August, MassTLC featured Per Scholas Greater Boston in an article for their member companies, Investing in Success: The Power of Hiring Per Scholas Alumni. The article showcased two Per Scholas Greater Boston technologists that have launched their tech careers with MassTLC member companies. 

Fabio Benoit, a Technical Support Analyst within the Analytics Department at Bullhorn Inc. graduated from the Software Engineering Full Stack Developer cohort in March 2022. Hiba Abbaker, who graduated from the AWS re/Start training in January 2021 and is now working at Slalom_Build as a Platform Engineer, was also featured in the article. 

Fabio and Hiba are two of the more than 600 Per Scholas Greater Boston graduates that have started their careers in tech from trainings including Software Engineering, AWS re/Start, IT Support, Cybersecurity, and more. In collaboration with partners including MassTLC and their member companies, Per Scholas technologists are launching their careers in tech, and unlocking potential for themselves, their companies, and the Greater Boston community. 


Per Scholas North Carolina Continues to Empower Learners Through Innovative Partnership with Truist Foundation

As part of Per Scholas’ mission to promote equitable access to education, Per Scholas North Carolina has partnered with Truist Foundation, an organization committed to building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. The partnership will allow us to expand our training to rural communities across North Carolina. This month, Truist Foundation awarded Per Scholas with a $1 million grant, and our organizations held a joint event focused on professional development. 

Truist Foundation Grant Reception

On August 10th, Truist Foundation announced that it would be committing $2 million to promote economic mobility through technology-oriented training initiatives in communities across North Carolina. Per Scholas received $1 million from this initiative, with the other $1 million going to tech training nonprofit NPower. 

This generous grant will be used to double the size of Per Scholas North Carolina’s existing training program, allowing us to increase access and opportunity for high-growth careers in tech to learners across North Carolina. Per Scholas will be growing its partnership with Wilkes Community College to provide tech skills, professional development, and coaching to learners in Western North Carolina, outside of Charlotte city limits, and offer remote training programs to learners in rural areas of the state.

Per Scholas Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill attended the remarkable event. Also in attendance were Heath Campbell –Regional President of Metrolina, Truist Financial Corporation; Bill Rogers – Chairman and CEO, Truist Financial Corporation; Erskine Bowles – Co-Founder, Housing Impact Fund; George Dunlap – Chairman of the Board, Mecklenburg County Commission; Keitt King – Head of Truist Community Capital; and Bertina Ceccarelli – CEO, NPower.

Lynette Bell – President, Truist Foundation, moderated a panel with Mike Terrell – Managing Director, Per Scholas North Carolina; Adelaide Martin – Operations & Impact Manager, Ascent Housing; and Ray Trapp – Executive Director, NPower North Carolina.

“Per Scholas is grateful for this tremendous investment into Per Scholas North Carolina from Charlotte-based Truist Foundation, helping to increase pathways to economic mobility for North Carolinians,” said Mike Terrell, managing director of Per Scholas North Carolina. “We know the transformative impact a career in technology can have on individuals, and increasing access and opportunity is key…We’re very humbled by Truist Foundation’s grant, which will help us unlock potential for even more aspiring rural technologists, in turn building stronger communities, companies, and economies.” 

Per Scholas North Carolina Truist Volunteer Event

Per Scholas North Carolina and Truist Foundation held a joint event on August 10th, in which volunteers from Truist paired with Per Scholas North Carolina technologists, providing our technologists with the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and practice their growing professional development skills. 

20% of Per Scholas’ training curriculum centers on professional development and coaching, with emphasis on the essential skills of problem solving, collaboration, innovation, and leadership. Opportunities like these in which future tech professionals can meet and learn from established industry experts are priceless in fostering these skills and are a great way for technologists to begin building their professional networks. 

After the paired coaching sessions, Per Scholas North Carolina’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships Desiree Patterson led participants in a Talk Back session, in which everyone discussed what they had learned and reflected on how they would use what they had learned to grow going forward. 

The event, which was hosted by Per Scholas North Carolina Campus Director Dr. Jastacia Jones, also included remarks from Truist’s Chief Financial Officer,  Mike Maguire, who delivered the announcement of Truist’s $1 million grant to Per Scholas, and from Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director Mike Terrell, who expressed Per Scholas’ sincere gratitude to Truist in supporting our joint mission, and thanked the participants of the event. 

Read more about Truist Foundation’s $1 million grant to Per Scholas here and here


Per Scholas Chief Training Officer Jasmine Miller Pens Op-Ed for Atlanta Journal-Constitution

August 26th marked Women’s Equality Day, and Jasmine Miller’s Opinion piece, “Tech Fields Need More of a Woman’s Touch,” focuses on the need for women’s insight and experience in tech.

Jasmine Miller mentions from her perspective, “Just as diverse teams fuel innovation, better manage risk and create products that cater to a broader audience, so too does diversity drive better results, decisions and products when it comes to technology. Women bring a unique set of experiences, insights and solutions. In a world increasingly driven by technology, omitting women’s perspectives is not just a question of equity but of missed potential.”

Read more from Jasmine’s perspective.