Per Scholas

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can provide assistance to unemployed workers. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Seeks to increase employment and earnings through employer-informed technology job training, mentoring, and job matching
  • Training is tuition free and offers full-time courses in several IT and tech disciplines. Courses range from ten to nineteen weeks, depending on subject area.
  • Approximately 20 percent of course time is spent on professional development training and career coaching
  • The program maintains strong relationships with local employers that hire tech workers, and employers help shape the curriculum
Target Population
Adults and families
Cost per Participant
Approximately $9,000 per participant (for in-person training)

Evidence and impacts

Strong

Ranked as having the second highest level of evidence by Social Programs That Work

Multiple studies with rigorous designs finds some evidence that Per Scholas increases earnings.

  • A 2022 research synthesis found that after seven years, Per Scholas participants earned $4,844 (14% percent) more per year than members of a control group. Earnings increased between $4,000-$6,000 over the seven years following random assignment.

Best practices in implementation

  • Strong sector focus and close employer connections allow programming to be closely tied to market demand and positions participants for career success.
  • Programming includes both standard skills training (which is developed with input from a variety of industry employers) and specific Customized Trainings, which are developed for specific firms' needs.
  • Per Scholas's Business Solutions team works directly with employers, engaging with both human resources and front-line managers to find positions suitable for graduates and create direct pipelines for post-graduation job placement.
  • Before expanding to new markets, the program conducts a 6-9 month market scan, engages with local employers and higher education partners, and develops a three-year plan for funding sustainability.
  • Each local site has an advisory board consisting of local employers and community-based organizations, which help establish lasting connections to each community in which the program operates.