Hi! It’s great to be here! I’m Damien Howard, Executive Vice President of Social Ventures at Per Scholas. Through rigorous, tuition-free technology training and professional development, Per Scholas has prepared over 15,000 individuals in 17 U.S. cities coast to coast to launch successful careers in technology.
We partner with businesses in need of diverse talent, and connect candidates traditionally excluded from technology, including women and people of color, with opportunities to build thriving-wage careers.
Originally founded to address the digital divide in New York City, Per Scholas was established in the South Bronx in 1995 to refurbish donated computers and provide them to schools that needed technology.
In 1998, Per Scholas launched our first IT Support training course. Because of its success, we pivoted to become the premier national technology training organization that we are today.
We believe a thriving workforce 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’re not just training people for a job. We’re helping to build in-demand skills, both technical and professional, that result in long-term success for individuals, their families and communities, and for the businesses across the country who employ them.
Per Scholas is committed to advancing economic equity through technology training, and supporting our graduates as they launch careers in one of our nation’s highest-growth sectors. Nationwide, nine in ten of our learners are people of color, and more than a third identify as women, far outpacing national trends.
Hired and Per Scholas work together to ensure graduates are placed in careers they love. Once a class of Per Scholas graduates are ready to become jobseekers, they are referred to Hired to set up a free profile and display their new, marketable, in-demand skills through Hired assessments or connecting social accounts to shine a light on their new skills.
Employers on Hired are able to search “Per Scholas” in a keyword search to put graduates at the top of their funnel. From there, the connections and opportunities are created and graduates are excited to have enthusiastic companies recognize their new skills and intention on our platform.
Per Scholas continues to scale and grow our tech training given the incredible demand for tech talent in communities nationwide. This year alone, we’re planning to train 4,000 individuals in courses ranging from IT and Network Support to Cybersecurity, Software Engineering to Cloud Computing, and beyond.
We help our employer partners build truly scalable, sustainable, and most importantly, diverse tech talent pipelines through our customized talent partner solutions, pre-employment training, upskilling, and reskilling course offerings.
I can’t underscore the business case for diversity enough. Inclusive teams make better decisions up to 87 percent of the time. According to the latest from McKinsey, companies that are racially and ethnically diverse outperform the bottom lines of those that are not by more than 36 percent.
Imagine that profitability, simply tied to intentional and inclusive hiring. Simply put, diversity drives dividends and makes good business sense!
As the co-founder, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight Diverse by Design, powered by Per Scholas. Diverse by Design is a hybrid and customizable enterprise solution that will enable your organization to move from conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion into action. Diverse by Design enterprise includes the following:
Take a listen to our origin story and stay tuned for updates about future Diverse by Design happenings.
Hired is the largest AI-driven marketplace matching ambitious tech and sales talent with the world’s most innovative companies. Backed by global HR leader, The Adecco Group, Hired combines intelligent job matching with unbiased career counseling to help people find a job they love and reach their full potential.
By providing accurate, real-time information, access to equal opportunity, efficiency, and transparency, the Hired platform serves as the backbone for hiring managers, recruiters, and C-level executives to surface the best talent and build amazing, diverse teams around the world.
Hired is committed to building equity in the hiring process through a more representative talent pool, using bias reduction features, customized assessments, and salary bias alerts to help remove unconscious bias when hiring.