FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Solving the Tech Divide
GreenLight Fund Invests $600,000 for Per Scholas Expansion to Boston
Boston, MA – September 3, 2019 – GreenLight Fund Boston selected Per Scholas as the 12th organization to bring to Boston under its portfolio of innovative and proven solutions to support low-income residents. Although there have been decades of work to improve high school completion, more than 60% of BPS graduates from the class of 2011 did not complete college within 6 years. Aged out of traditional programs and unable to afford rising college tuitions, employment training programs with high success rates in job placement and advancement are a critical need for low-income residents in the Greater Boston area. It is this challenge that drove the focus for GreenLight Fund Boston’s recent selection.
“We are so thrilled to welcome Per Scholas to our city,” said Melissa Luna, Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Boston. “The tech sector has seen exponential growth in our city — and without any effective interventions, it will continue to be a field with little to no access for low-income residents. Training and placing low-income adults into well-paying jobs can help change trajectories of families for generations to come.” The GreenLight Fund works in partnership with an Advisory Council of nonprofit, community leaders, and residents to ensure local fit for the solution.
Janet Iraola, a resident of South Boston and family partner at Family Independence Initiative, reflects on her experience, “The extensive selection process to find the next best thing for Boston was very informative, and I’m proud that I was able to contribute to my community in this way.”
Per Scholas provides tuition-free technology training and professional development for people from overlooked communities, and creates onramps to businesses in need of their talents. Per Scholas has a proven track record in training low-income adults in technology careers, building employer partnerships for job placements, and supporting alumni to advance in their careers. In a three-year evaluation of its work by MDRC in 2017, Per Scholas’ program was found to increase incomes of students by 400%, well above similar adult training programs. Per Scholas places 90% of graduates in jobs within 4 months of completing the course.
GreenLight’s four-year, unrestricted $600,000 investment provides critical capital for Per Scholas’s expansion and sustainability in the area. After running a pilot class, Per Scholas will continue to grow its technology training tracks and employer partnerships. Additionally, Per Scholas will benefit from the guidance, relationships, and multi-year support of GreenLight staff through the creation of a local advisory board.
“We share a vision with the Greenlight Fund when it comes to expanding opportunity for all residents of Greater Boston,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO of Per Scholas. “Having their support is crucial as we look to establish our footprint in the area, and work to help all ambitious and motivated individuals join the city’s growing tech workforce.”
Per Scholas welcomes adults of all ages, leads to industry-recognized certifications in under 12 weeks, and engages in two years of alumni support.
“Per Scholas not only provided me with tech training but also taught me how to present myself as a professional,” said Hector Javier Miranda Vaquer, a 2019 Per Scholas Boston pilot graduate. “Prior to going to this training, I had sent in 84 job applications without a single response. With this training, I received a job offer the day I graduated Per Scholas. “