Despite a booming economy, 44% of U.S. workers earn <$15/hour, and the percentages among people of color and women are even higher. The problem isn’t a shortage of high-quality jobs: employers post thousands they struggle to fill. Rather, in a digital economy, getting and keeping good jobs requires specialized knowledge, skills and social capital that many jobseekers lack. Per Scholas, the nation’s leading technology workforce development organization collaborates with employers to design accelerated, immersive training for high-quality technology jobs they need to fill. We recruit un/underemployed adults (18+) to take those courses and help graduates -- a large majority from communities of color -- launch successful tech careers. Collaboratively with MDRC and The Financial Clinic, we propose an ambitious national scaling agenda training 20,000+ low-income students by 2025, equipping them with lifelong tools to thrive, while simultaneously helping power the economic development of entire cities and regions.
Per Scholaswebsite: http://www.perscholas.org
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With the support of Lever for Change’s Economic Opportunity Challenge and the Bold Solutions Network, Per Scholas has been able to achieve tremendous success over the past year. We enrolled nearly 2,800 learners—a 40% increase compared to 2020—with 2021 learners achieving an 82% graduation rate. Moreover, we strengthened our employer engagement efforts and launched new apprenticeship programs with leading employers, which will provide a structured path to advancement for our graduates and contribute to achieving an 80% job attainment rate. We are thrilled that the average starting wage for 2021 employed graduates has reached nearly $22/hour. Finally, we enrolled nearly 700 alumni in no-cost upskilling courses and engaged thousands more in newly launched online communities that have fostered further advancement for Per Scholas alumni. We look forward to expanding our success in the coming year to enroll 4,000 diverse learners and connect graduates to high-growth tech careers.