Per Scholas, Inc.

aka Per Scholas   |   Bronx, NY   |  www.perscholas.org

Mission

Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility and racial equity for more than 25 years. Through rigorous training, professional development, and robust employer connections, we prepare individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. We partner with leading employers to build more diverse talent pools, directly connecting our graduates to new career opportunities with leading employers, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups. With campuses in 17 cities, Per Scholas has trained 14,000 individuals in tech skills at no cost to learners, building bridges to careers in technology.

Ruling year info

1995

CEO and President

Mr. Plinio Ayala

Main address

804 E 138th Street, #2

Bronx, NY 10454 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3252955

NTEE code info

Employment Training (J22)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

Recycling (C27)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Millions of Americans — disproportionately people of color, women, and adults (18+) without advanced degrees — lack the prerequisites to obtain decent-paying jobs. Consigned to low-wage work instead, many powered the service industries decimated by COVID-19. Now huge numbers are unemployed, with uncertain prospects for their jobs’ return. Simultaneously, employers across industries are struggling to fill more than 1.2 million information technology jobs, while the unemployment rate remains largely unchanged since hitting record highs in April 2020. Our focus on tech is key: tech roles are high-paying (average hourly earnings of $47.18), often do not require a college degree, can be conducted in a socially distant manner, and continue to be in high demand. Moreover, growing numbers of tech employers want to build more diverse workforces, remedying the disparities that have shaped today's computing workforce to be just 26% female and 15% Black or Latinx.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

IT Support

Entry-level course offering 12 weeks (M-F, 9am-4pm) of technical and soft skills/career development instruction. Graduates qualify to earn Google IT Support Professional, and CompTIA A+ certifications and to fill entry-level IT (primarily infrastructure/desktop support and general field technician) jobs.
(Offered since 1998.)

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Low-income people

15-week intensive course (M-F, 9am-4pm) leading to diverse software engineering skills and the creation of a GitHub-based work portfolio to share with potential employers. Begins with thorough grounding in HTML/CSS and Javascript; later modules customizable according to learner interests/regional employer needs. Also provides introduction to computer science sufficient to prepare for college-level achievement. Course can be tailored toward specific market demands (1-2 week customizable modules).
(Offered since 2019.)

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Low-income people

15-week (M-F, 9am-4pm) cybersecurity training leading to the brand new CompTIA CySA+ credential and entry-level roles in Security Operations Centers (SOCs).
(Offered since 2018.)

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Low-income people

5 weeks (M-F, 9am-4pm). This course is a “bridge” offering, to help learners gain the foundational skills necessary to start a full Per Scholas course. In this course learners work on improving literacy and math skills while earning the CompTia ITF+ certification which introduces learners to basic IT knowledge and skills. Graduates of this course have the option of moving on to an IT Support course.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Low-income people

12-week course (M-F, 9am-4pm), AWS re/Start is a full-time, classroom-based skills development and training program that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. A technology background is not required to apply.

Through real-world, scenario-based learning, labs, and coursework, learners gain the skills they need for an entry-level cloud role. AWS re/Start also provides learners with resume and interview coaching to prepare for employer meetings and interviews. Graduates earn the AWS Practitioner Level certification.
(Offered since 2020.)

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Low-income people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups

Courses developed to meet the specific needs of employers seeking higher-volume candidates for open jobs. Current locations include Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Chicago, and New York. Customized Training partnerships include bespoke curriculum, identification, and recruitment of a specified candidate profile, tailored training with ongoing insight into candidate performance, and premium access to high quality, diverse talent pipeline before other employers. We currently have course models created to teach intermediate skills in coding, java developer, Network Analyst, robotic process automation, and much more.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Low-income people
Ethnic and racial groups
Adults

Part-time remote courses focused on helping graduates master more advanced technical skills, attain additional certifications, and achieve career advancement. Offered nationally. Length of each training ranges from 84 to 180 hours. We currently have course models created to teach IT Automation with Python, UX Designer, Data Analyst, Project Manager, Network+, and Security+.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Low-income people

Where we work

Awards

Impacts & Results score of 100/100 and 4 consecutive 4-star ratings 2021

Charity Navigator

Economic Opportunity Challenge awardee 2020

Lever for Change

Named one of the top 10 charities globally for poverty reduction 2019

Impact Matters (which subsequently merged with Charity Navigator)

5 Nonprofits to Watch 2018

The Columbus Foundation

BizTech Awards - Best Nonprofit Service 2017

BizTech

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients passing job skill competency exams or assessments after completing course

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Unemployed people, Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Only certain training tracks offer professional certification

Number of clients placed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Unemployed people, Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 numbers are not complete and will be adjusted as learners continue to attain jobs. This figure is based on alumni who are at least 120 days out from graduation.

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Unemployed people, Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Unemployed people, Ethnic and racial groups, Adults, Low-income people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average hourly wage of clients who became employed after job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Low-income people, Unemployed people, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of job skills training courses/workshops conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Low-income people, Adults, Unemployed people, Ethnic and racial groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Per Scholas fuels economic and social progress in communities across the country through technology education, access, training, and employer connections for individuals in these communities. Our training connects people with jobs that can help them launch careers with personal meaning, opportunities for advancement, and the wages needed to invest in their futures and that of their families.

We believe that a diverse workforce is a strong workforce. That starts with equitable access to education. By providing skills training and access to employer networks to individuals often excluded from tech careers, Per Scholas envisions a tech workforce as diverse as the customers it serves. We also believe that in order to achieve diversity in the workplace, employers must be willing to recruit from nontraditional sources of talent. We help to build a more diverse technical workforce by creating educational opportunities for women and people of color—groups highly underrepresented in the tech sector today, and then providing top employers with access to our highly skilled and diverse talent pool.

The core Per Scholas model is simple: We partner with employers to design industry- and job-specific courses based on continually updated assessments of their technology staffing needs. We then teach cutting-edge technology and professional development skills to adult learners who have a strong potential to pursue tech careers but not enough access to them. Ultimately, we match these newly skilled graduates with employers and continue to coach and support alumni as they build their careers.

Our training is not just focused on hard technical skills, but a holistic approach that fully prepares graduates for employment in the tech sector--all at no cost to learners. This includes:
- Technical Training: Per Scholas teaches state-of-the-art technology skills tailored to business’ needs through a 12-15 week full-time, immersive course. Per Scholas graduates earn industry-recognized certifications that render them competitive in the local market.
- Professional Development: 20% of training focuses on communication, collaboration, continuous learning, giving and receiving feedback, and career navigation skills critical to landing that first job and moving up the tech career ladder.
- Employer Partnerships: . At every level of our work, we collaborate with leading local tech employers to ensure our technical instruction, career development strategy, and employer connection services are aligned with market needs and emerging trends.
- Learner Support: Our Learner Support team, which consists of financial coaches and MSW-trained Navigators, provides both enrolled learners and alumni with generalized workshops as well as learner-led one-on-one coaching, in-house learner support services and referrals to partner agencies.
- Business Solutions: Our Business Solutions team works with 500+ employers nationwide to connect our graduates to entry and mid-level tech roles across 17 markets nationwide.

We have also emerged as a national leader in promoting tech workforce diversity and inclusion. In 2016, Per Scholas launched Diverse by Design (DxD) with the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, the premier U.S. association of African American technology leaders, and several tech hiring leaders to foster conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, starting in tech. Over five years, DxD has hosted a dozen conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion within tech, attended by more than 1,000 professionals, hiring managers and C-suite executives, representing scores of industries. In 2020, Per Scholas transformed DxD from a conversation series to an action-oriented movement.

DxD differentiates itself from other corporate DEI efforts by:
- Focusing exclusively on DEI in the tech/IT workforce
- Connecting employers with sustainable sources of diverse and nontraditional tech talent
- Sharing best practices to help tech employers build and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce

Per Scholas’ staff is led by President and CEO Plinio Ayala. Under his leadership, Per Scholas has incubated strong organizational capacities to respond to changing market conditions, pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and embrace rigorous measurements of impact.

Per Scholas is governed by a Board of Directors, on whom we depend heavily for experience and guidance in the development of the organization. They include representatives of significant employer and corporate partners (such as Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, and Cognizant) as well as individual Per Scholas supporters. In addition, we cultivate Advisory Boards for each training campus to ensure we are targeting our program and strategy to the specific needs of each region. These local boards include key regional corporate, employer and philanthropic partners, and their chairs occupy ex officio seats on the National Board.

We employ 268 full-time staff (including 50+ employees who are our own graduates) across our 17 campuses to manage and implement our programs. Our national team guides the vision and strategy for the organization as a whole, while local campus teams use their in-depth knowledge of the local community and markets to guide individual learner success. Per Scholas staff and instructors believe deeply in the Per Scholas mission and are committed to assisting learners as they navigate their career paths. Per Scholas’ commitment to diversity is also focused inward, and staff demographics represent the diverse communities in which we are located.

We are funded by a broad base of individual, corporate, foundation, and government partners—both at a national and local level across all regions. Additionally, we partner with community-based organizations, and public agencies across all campuses to build many additional services to promote the success of learners in our classrooms and graduates on the job.

Per Scholas continues to be one of the only tech workforce development agencies nationally whose outcomes have repeatedly been evaluated and proven in multiyear, randomized, and controlled research trials. In March 2020, the WorkAdvance study team at MDRC updated findings showing that after five years, Per Scholas program participants earned $6,300/year more than control group members. In addition, the direct economic return on investment over seven years (including higher after-tax incomes for participants, increased government tax revenues and benefits savings, and financial gains experienced by society as a whole) has now been found to be at least 8x the total training cost. These findings are validated by a previous randomized and controlled study conducted by Public/Private Ventures in 2010, which found similar levels of impact on employment and earnings.

Since 1995, we have enrolled more than 14,000 individuals, helping them build successful careers in technology and spurring economic development across their communities. Per Scholas’ track record for learner success includes:

- 85% of our learners graduate
- 80% of graduates land jobs, 90% of which are in the technology sector
- On average, in their first job post-graduation, our alumni earn 300% more than their pre-training wage. Nationally, Per Scholas graduates average starting wage is $20/hour or over $42,000/year in taxable income.

Our graduates contribute to the community in the following ways:

- Increased Tax Payments & Reduction in Public Benefits: MDRC’s Work Advance study concluded that for every $1 spent on Per Scholas training, $8 is returned to the local economy through reduction of public benefits, increased taxes, and increased spending. Per Scholas enrollees were 50% less likely than their peers to receive unemployment insurance, nutritional and income support in the two years following application to Per Scholas.
- Greater Investments in the Tech Workforce: Skilled workforces attract more business investment. Thriving wage technology jobs, in particular, have an even more substantial “multiplier effect,” helping create/sustain an estimated 4.8x other jobs for each IT services role that most Per Scholas graduates fill.
- Increased Personal, Familial, and Community Investments: For 2020, our employed graduates will represent about $19 million in earned wages that will add to their local economies. When individuals are earning a thriving wage, they have the opportunity to make active choices—and invest in themselves, their families, and their entire communities.

In the coming years, Per Scholas has an ambitious goal of training 289,000 learners between 2021-2035, working up to a rate of 50,000 trained annually or 75% of all available technology roles available to people without a college degree in the 30 cities Per Scholas will then serve. We will also deepen our work with the nation’s leading tech employers to dismantle long standing systemic barriers to inclusion, equity and advancement. Along the way, we will expand 17 existing in-person training locations, launch more than 10 new campuses, and scale new remote offerings to help us triple Per Scholas’ enrollment by 2023.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    At Per Scholas, we believe that a thriving workforce starts with equitable access to education. We offer our rigorous training for adult job seekers (18+) who have the passion and drive to enter the technology workforce but not the qualifying education or experience to access these jobs. Per Scholas learners represent the diverse communities in which our campuses are located and often come from backgrounds currently unrepresented in the tech industry: nationally, more than 86% of our learners are people of color, 30% are women, one-third are young adults (18-24) when they enroll at Per Scholas, and the majority have a high school diploma or equivalent as their terminal degree. All our learners are low- to moderate-income (defined as 80% or less of Area Median Income).

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In response to the events of 2020, we felt compelled to engage more thoughtfully in the words we use to describe ourselves and our community, and what language we use to relate to the larger world. As a result of direct feedback from our learners and alumni, we revamped our programmatic language—including our mission statement—to shift the focus from defining and qualifying our community of learners to instead spotlight the supportive role that Per Scholas plays. Through a framework we call “Words to Live By,” we are transitioning from deficit-based to asset-based language (e.g. replacing “disadvantaged” with “untapped talent,” “breaking the cycle of poverty” with “advancing economic equity”).

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We believe that the meaningful indicators of our organization’s value point to measurable positive changes in participants’ lives and employer partners’ practices, and have always engaged and solicited feedback from stakeholders in both constituencies to guide and refine our efforts.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Per Scholas, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Per Scholas, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/17/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lewis E. Miller

Gregory Sills

Apollo Global Management, LLC

Ami Ariel

G-Way Management, LLC

Lewis Miller

ActionPoint Advisors, LLC

Carolyn Landis

Catalyst Partners, LLC

Plinio Ayala

Per Scholas

Derek Braddock

BraddockMatthews, LLC

Ian Shrank

Non-Profit Lawyer

Jan Lodal

Lodal and Company

Jean Hill

Alvarez & Marsal

John Fox

Fox Consulting Management Group

Manny Cancel

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)

Blair Greenberg

Bregal Sagemount

Wayne Kunow

BNY Mellon

Josh Lieberman

KMS Technology

Ian Schaad

Tony Spinelli

Urban One, Inc.

Luis Arzu

Farm Credit Financial Partners, Inc.

David Hannigan

Google

Eric Westphal

Cognizant

Dwayne Brown

Accenture

Tino Mathew

Enterprise DB

Mary Beth Molloy

MBM Elevate LLC

Tina Lyden

Elysian Fiber

William McCaster

Ohio National Financial Services (ONFS)

Kevin Brown

Ernst & Young LLP

Wale Akinwande

S&P Global

Faith Rottman Johnson

TEKsystems

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/14/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.