For 25 years, Per Scholas, Inc. has prepared motivated and curious adults who are unemployed or underemployed with the technical and business skills to launch successful careers in technology, creating on-ramps to businesses in need of their talents. In 2020, we will enroll more than 2,000 students across 12 cities and partner with over 500 companies.
For 25 years, Per Scholas has opened pathways for more than 10,000 individuals, who lack the access but not the talent to succeed in the technology workforce. Through rigorous, tuition-free technology training and professional development, Per Scholas prepares motivated and curious adults for successful, high-quality tech careers.
There are more open computing jobs in the US than computer science students to meet the industry’s current hiring needs. This talent shortage is an unrealized opportunity for tech employers to consider candidates from nontraditional training backgrounds and increase employee/employer economic potential.
In 2018, Per Scholas launched its eighth training facility at 540 Broad Street in the historic New Jersey Bell Building in Downtown Newark. The space includes three state-of-the-art technical classrooms, with twenty workstations each, along with a flexible workspace and a kitchen.
This was made possible due to the support of several of the organization’s employer partners who are also some of the region’s most prominent employers: Barclays, Prudential Financial, PSEG and Guardian Life.
Per Scholas Newark aims to contribute to Newark’s growing tech workforce by providing industry-recognized certifications and positioning graduates as qualified entry-level tech professionals. Nationally, 80% of Per Scholas graduates begin working in jobs with an average pay of $21/hour, four times their average pre-training incomes.
The Newark facility complements Mayor Ras Baraka’s Newark 2020 economic development initiative to employ more Newark residents by training and placing 200 people into tech roles over the next three years, in turn strengthening the local IT talent pool and achieving greater diversity within the region’s technology market.
Per Scholas Newark currently offers two boot-camp style training tracks: IT Support (15 weeks) and Cybersecurity (17 weeks). IT Support covers a range of technical topics such as computer hardware disassembly and assembly, local area and wireless networking, and mobile devices.
Throughout their coursework, students prepare to take exams for both their CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. Technical instruction for Cybersecurity reviews topics such as Unix and Linux operating systems, fundamentals in networking and troubleshooting, culminating in two introductory sections for the Cisco CCNA Cyber Ops Cybersecurity certificate modules.
Hands-on experience accounts for 75% of the curriculum, supplemented by career advancement training and wraparound support services such as financial coaching, case management, and emergency financial support services.
Engagement opportunities with local employers offer students the chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom setting in real-life experiences such as mock interviews and presentations. Support services such as upskilling and networking opportunities are available to all alumni for two years following graduation free of charge.
Per Scholas Newark is unique in that it collaborates closely with its employer partners to produce graduates who will contribute to the future sustainability and economic growth of the region and diversify the digital workforce of the area. Graduates have successfully found work at some of the area’s high profile industry employers.
To learn more about our organization, see our profile in the Technology section. Newark residents interested in applying for our free technical training can visit www.perscholas.org/newark to submit an application. Employers interested in partnering should visit perscholas.org/newark.
Per Scholas Newark
Per Scholas Newark prepares adults with the necessary technical and business skills needed to launch successful careers in technology. Launched in 2018, Per Scholas Newark will contribute to Newark’s growing technology sector by training the next generation of tech as competent and highly qualified entry-level professionals and greatly diversifying the region’s tech workforce over the coming years.
An Economic Dilemma
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy will need as many as 100,000 new information technology workers throughout the new decade. By 2030, as many as 1.2 million unfilled tech jobs in the U.S. will cost businesses an estimated $162 billion annually. Continued at this current projection, if efforts to address this are not implemented, the impact of this dilemma will affect not just businesses, but families, communities, and national economic sustainability.
Since 1995, Per Scholas has helped more than 10,000 unemployed and underemployed individuals to develop the necessary skills to succeed in high-quality tech careers. Our training model has been proven to drive positive social change in communities across the nation.
Our accelerated, tuition-free, full-time technical training is supplemented with career advancement training and wraparound support services such as professional development, financial security coaching, and case management services for those who need them. With the advancement of our new customized training model in which employers are key partners in designing and investing in the skilled workforce of the future, we are able to innovate the next generation of sector-based workforce development and increase diversity within the tech field.
Innovating the Tech Workforce through Diverse Partnerships
Per Scholas Newark aims to contribute to Newark’s growing tech workforce by providing industry-recognized certifications and positioning graduates as qualified entry-level tech professionals. We believe that much of our nation’s talent is hidden in plain sight: people in overlooked communities who may lack the opportunities—but not the motivation or intellectual curiosity to join the ranks of our nation’s growing tech sector.
For employers whose tech talent shortages otherwise impede productivity and growth, Per Scholas Newark can introduce them to new pipelines of diverse local tech talent. We help businesses to address their talent acquisition or upskilling needs by matching our graduates to their recruitment candidate profile. The outcomes – more self-sufficient individuals, healthier families, stronger neighborhoods, businesses, and communities – benefit everyone.
These partnerships have the incredible opportunity to foster a more equitable and diverse tech sector through the creation of robust pathways to tech employment for individuals from underrepresented communities. The impact and quality of Per Scholas training leverages the talent shortage to induce more employers to consider candidates with nontraditional backgrounds and build sustainable futures for our graduates.
Nationally, 80% of Per Scholas graduates begin working in jobs with an average pay of $21/hour, four times their average pre-training incomes. With 87% of Per Scholas students identifying as people color (59% are African-American or Hispanic), hired graduates are twice as likely to be racially and ethnically diverse than typical new hires in the same industries. Hired graduates also help to reduce a business’ employee turnover between 22-50%.
We envision a future where individuals from any community can access well-paying tech careers, and where talent is recognized and recruited from many diverse sources. Our mission is to not only open doors to technology careers but to build the foundation for future sustainability and growth for the nation overall.
To learn more about our training programs, see our profile in the Education section. Employers interested in partnering should visit perscholas.org/newark. Newark residents interested in applying to our free technical training can visit www.perscholas.org/newark to submit an application.