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Sep 25, 2012

Creating IT Futures Foundation and Per Scholas Team Up for IT Training in Columbus

Downers Grove, Ill., and Bronx, N.Y. September 25, 2012 – The Creating IT Futures Foundation and Per Scholas, 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, and the Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, 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 a 12-week curriculum made successful by Per Scholas at its New York site.

The first class is set to launch in 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. A ribbon-cutting is set for Oct. 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.”

“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.”

In 2012, Creating IT Futures debuted its eight-week IT-Ready Apprentice Program in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and in Cincinnati, just 100 miles from Columbus.

Prior to coming to Columbus, officials from Per Scholas did their due diligence to ensure the Columbus community could support the organization, whether sufficient capacity of job seekers requiring training, to employers needing qualified graduates. JPMorgan-Chase, which employs over 17,000 individuals in central Ohio, is also providing generous grant funding to get Per Scholas Columbus off the ground.

"Based on my conversations with employers, they are eager for highly qualified, entry-level IT candidates to fill their open positions," says Andrea Applegate, who recently joined Per Scholas to lead its Columbus operations. "The training offered by Per Scholas satisfies that need by quickly and effectively training job seekers with the skills they need for jobs with our great local businesses."  

About the Creating IT Futures Foundation

Founded in 1998 as the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, the Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping individuals in need and populations under-represented in IT to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org and www.ITready.com.

About Per Scholas

Per Scholas is a national nonprofit organization that breaks the cycle of poverty by providing technology education, access, training and job placement services for people in low-income communities. Founded in 1995, it now operates the state-licensed Per Scholas Institute for Technology, the largest and oldest professional IT workforce development program in New York City. Learn more at www.perscholas.org.

Eric Larson,
Director of External Relations
Creating IT Futures Foundation