Thu, Jan 30, 2014

Per Scholas Invited to White House Event Focused on the Long-Term Unemployed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bronx-based IT job training nonprofit, Per Scholas, Attends White House Event Focused on Serving the Long-Term Unemployed

Plinio Ayala, Per Scholas President & CEO, meets with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss strategy, scale and implementation

Bronx, N.Y. January 31, 2014 — Per Scholas, a national non-profit providing free IT job training and career support to individuals in underserved communities, will attend a White House event on Friday, January 31 convened by President Obama to discuss strategies for helping our nation’s nearly 4 million long-term unemployed get back into the labor market. President and CEO Plinio Ayala is attending to share the Per Scholas approach to serving the long-term unemployed and will sit with Vice President Biden to discuss how to strengthen skills training across the country.

Sector partnerships will be one of the strategies featured at the event as a tool to help the long-term unemployed re-train for new well-paying, family-supporting careers. These business-led partnerships bring together multiple firms within the same industry along with local colleges, training providers, community-based organizations and workforce investment boards. These employers work together to define common skill standards for hard-to-fill positions, and then partner organizations align publicly funded training and support services to prepare people for those jobs.

Mr. Ayala has been called to the White House to share the successes of Per Scholas in building such partnerships to re-employ local residents in the Information Technology industry. One of the hallmarks of the approach is that it is employer-driven with a growing list of employer partners who play an integral role in the program and graduates’ success. They include ASI System Integration, Barclays, Bloomberg, Cablevision, JPMorgan Chase, Neuberger Berman, NYSE Euronext, Pomeroy, Time Warner and many others.

A number of organizations promoting the national expansion of sector partnerships will also be in attendance, including National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships. Other event participants will include CEOs from national corporations, small- and medium-sized employers, foundations, and other local organizations working to help the long-term unemployed in a variety of ways.

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will be joining President Obama at the event to discuss a number of new efforts by the Obama Administration to bring new attention to the long-term unemployed. Among those efforts, it is anticipated that President Obama will be announcing new support for sector partnerships and other workforce intermediaries working with the long-term unemployed, building on the successful models developed by such organizations as Per Scholas.

Per Scholas provides free IT training, career development services, and job placement support for unemployed adults who have the drive but lack the skills to succeed in the IT industry. The Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, partnered with Per Scholas to form the IT-Ready training network and spurred the national expansion of the program. IT-Ready has served 5,000 people to date in New York, Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the National Capital Region. The network will grow to eight cities by 2016 and will train more than 1,000 individuals annually. Learn more at www.perscholas.org.

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