Per Scholas

Bronx, NY, USA mdi-circle-small


Lever for Change Economic Opportunity Challenge Awardee

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.

Lever for Change Project Description
Per Scholas will join The Financial Clinic and MDRC to propel 20,000+ low-income individuals into the middle class.

Launched in October 2019 and sponsored by anonymous donors, the Economic Opportunity Challenge was a $10 million competition designed to scale a game-changing solution to improve the economic health of low-income families in the U.S. 160 proposals were submitted to the competition and were evaluated using four criteria: magnitude of impact, strength of evidence, likelihood of success, and potential for scale. Five Finalists were announced in June 2020. The $10 million Awardee was announced in December 2020: Per Scholas, an organization working to disrupt generational cycles of poverty affecting more than 13,000 individuals seeking technology careers in cities across the U.S. Focusing Philanthropy, a multi-year philanthropic partner of Per Scholas, committed $5 million in additional funding to the original $10 million Awardee grant.


Organization Information


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