Fri, May 11, 2018

Per Scholas Documentary Impresses at Amazon Web Services and Salesforce Screenings in New York

Release: For Immediate Release: 05. 11. 2018

Contact: Jake McIntosh, Director, Strategic Communications

[email protected] | 978.578.6821

Overview: National Workforce development organization Per Scholas held a documentary screening and panel discussion at both the Salesforce Tower and Amazon’s SoHo based popup loft. Over 100 people attended both events with the audience comprising of Salesforce and Amazon leaders, Representatives from local companies and Per Scholas Board members.

Topics discussed were the value of Mentorship, and how partners like Salesforce and Amazon have invested time in meeting Per Scholas students with the hopes of developing them for the broader NY tech community. These employer partnerships are a huge part of the Per Scholas model as employers are driving the need for skilled tech talent. Beyond providing the context for the Per Scholas curriculum the support employer partners provide to student before hiring them, is invaluable. When students receive coaching and mentorship from working professionals, they get to see a future version of themselves and are embolden with a new sense of confidence when pursuing their career goals.

New York, NY - This month national workforce development organization Per Scholas held documentary screenings and panel discussion at both the Salesforce Tower and Amazon’s SoHo based popup loft. The film Solutions to America’s Workforce Crisis, produced by the What Works Media Project, and directed by award-winning producer Mikaela Beardsley and filmmaker Kristi Jacobson, is a documentary profiling evidence based programs including Per Scholas and follows the lives of three young people, two of them Per Scholas graduates, as they navigate training, placement and career opportunities in an evolving market.

Per Scholas prides itself on developing talent from overlooked communities and prepares them for careers in technology. Not only are these students taught various tech skills they are also offered career coaching and professional development on the interview process and how to best represent yourself to the job market. This was more than evident after the initial event at the Salesforce tower. Salesforce employees got to hear an inspiring story from Helena Hill a current student of the Network Engineering program at  Per Scholas. Helena captured the audience’s attention when she told a motivational story about persevering through difficult times, and deciding to change her career path despite knowing the financial strain it would put her under. Helena fought through those hard times while living in a housing shelter, and still managed to make it to her classes at Per Scholas, ultimately getting her Network+ certification.

The visit to the Amazon loft space showed that the Per Scholas is a huge talent source for organizations. The beautiful Amazon loft was filled with over a hundred people that included partner employers, Per Scholas board members, and the founder of Per Scholas, John Stookey.

The highlight of the night was a Panel discussion hosted by Ken Eisner, the global lead for AWS Educate, with panelists Alba Teta, a Per Scholas graduate and a current Amazon employee, and Per Scholas CEO Plinio Ayala. Annette Brantley from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York represented one of Per Scholas’ many hiring partner during the panel discussion.

Alba Teta offered insight into how immigrants with higher education backgrounds and degrees can struggle when they change markets and move to the United States. Alba also spoke to the training, mentorship, and placement assistance that she got from Per Scholas, and her career launch with Amazon in New York. This was a powerful example of the talent level of Per Scholas graduates Alba’s story demonstrated to the local companies and organizations represented in the room that if such a large organization like Amazon could take on a Per Scholas grad and have them be successful within their company other companies could do the same. Whether that be hiring a recent grad, mentoring current students, or even speaking with the Per Scholas’ business solutions team with the hopes of developing custom training tracks for roles they are looking to fill in the future.

Both screenings were huge successes, as they provided value to the Per Scholas student with networking opportunities as well as demonstrating the value add Per Scholas can bring to organizations here in NY. Per Scholas is becoming a major player in the ever booming NY tech scene and their students are showing that they are more than on par with their traditional contemporaries.

About Per Scholas

Per Scholas is a national nonprofit that drives positive and proven social change in communities across the country. Through rigorous and tuition-free technology training and professional development, we prepare motivated and curious adults who are unemployed or underemployed for successful careers as IT professionals, and we create onramps to businesses in need of their talents. Today we provide our solutions in six cities across the country: Atlanta, GA; Greater Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; the National Capital Region; and New York. To date, Per Scholas has trained 7,000 individuals, helping them build lasting, life changing skills and careers in technology.

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