Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Two charitable organizations dedicated to changing lives through technology careers are partnering in the heart of the country.Per Scholas
— a successful Bronx-based IT training organization in operation since 1998 — and the Creating IT Futures Foundation are combining for a full-court press approach to IT training in Columbus, Ohio. Both organizations are 501(c)(3) charities dedicated to changing lives through technology training and preparing graduates for paid apprenticeships and full-time jobs.
Under the partnership agreement, Per Scholas will manage and direct the new Columbus training site with $300,000 in start-up funding provided by Creating IT Futures. Programs that will be offered to adult students in Columbus include the IT-Ready Apprentice Program, an eight-week IT training debuted by the Creating IT Futures Foundation in 2012, as well as the 12-week training curriculum made successful by Per Scholas at its New York site.
Information technology (IT) has shown itself to be more robust than other fields in terms of employment. Some estimates show the number of unfilled IT jobs currently sitting at 300,000 nationally. The IT-Ready program is taught to the CompTIA A+ certification, which prepares candidates for entry-level help-desk and technical support roles.
The first class is set to launch October 2012 at 112 Jefferson Avenue centrally located near Downtown Columbus. The program will serve 80 individuals in its first 12 months, focusing on adult students who are unemployed or underemployed. Some will have been displaced from other industries, such as manufacturing. A ribbon-cutting is set for October 31, 2012, to officially launch the new space and partnership.
“We’ve been working with IT-Ready for more than a year, and the results have been very exciting,” said Kenneth Walker, Per Scholas’ vice president of strategic initiatives. “To be able to replicate in the Columbus market with what they’ve already demonstrated in other cities is exciting.”
Per Scholas has also long received key charitable support from JPMorgan-Chase, which employs over 17,000 individuals in Central Ohio. The bank is also providing generous grant funding to get Per Scholas | Columbus off the ground.
The decision to have a bricks-and-mortar presence testifies to Per Scholas’ commitment to Columbus and its employers, Walker said.
“This is an exciting step forward for both our organizations,” added Charles Eaton, the executive director of Creating IT Futures. “We’ve been sharing best practices in workforce training with each other for a long time. Now this partnership is a way for both organizations to test a new model of expansion so we can reach our shared goal of helping more people transform their lives through upwardly mobile IT careers.”
Since 1998, Per Scholas has moved adult students in financial need through a 12-week computer training program in its Bronx location. Curriculum also includes an emphasis on communication skills and career development. A startling 80 percent of Per Scholas graduates obtain full-time employment within a year of graduation. It is a method with proven results.
In 2012, Creating IT Futures Foundation
debuted its eight-week IT-Ready Apprentice Program
in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and in Cincinnati, just 100 miles from Columbus.