Per Scholas is a technology training organization that operates in 17 locations nationwide. It began offering programs in Seattle in 2021; this is one of Per Scholas’ newest locations and its only location on the West Coast. Per Scholas works to create a more diverse tech workforce by creating on-ramps for women and people of color. It does so by working directly with employers to design rigorous, intensive, tuition-free training programs, which include career development and job placement support. Per Scholas Alumni continue to receive upskilling and professional development support for two years after graduation.
In Seattle, Per Scholas offers two courses both in partnership with TEKsystems, an IT staffing firm that serves 80% of Fortune 500 firms and has hired hundreds of Per Scholas graduates in other states. One is a Full Stack Java Developer program from which the first 19 students graduated in August 2021. Two-thirds of students in this 14-week, full-time program were people of color, 42 percent were women, and half were unemployed for 6 months or longer before beginning the program. The other program offered in Seattle is an End User Desktop Support program, which will begin in 2022.
Per Scholas’ impact has been carefully evaluated by independent research organizations, and the results are clear: participants in Per Scholas see an increase in annual earnings of 20 to 30 percent (or approximately $5,000 per year). These are some of the biggest impacts identified for a program of its type nationwide.
Nationally, nearly 90 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color and 30% are women. Graduation rates for Per Scholas courses are 85 percent, and over 80 percent of graduates find full-time jobs within a year of graduating.