Per Scholas opened its new Institute for Technology with a bold goal of training over 500 people for well-paying information technology jobs and career advancement in the upcoming year.
On Thursday, October 22 Per Scholas officially dedicated its state-of-the-art 16,000 square-foot workforce development and technology training center at 804 E. 138th Street. It will house instructional programs and executive staff.
“To compete in today’s job market you must be a skilled, specialized worker,” said Per Scholas president and CEO Plinio Ayala. “Our workforce development program provides disadvantaged adults with specific skills they need to excel in the IT industry, and with this new state-of-the-art facility, we now have the capacity to train more people than ever before.”
Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said that he thought Per Scholas would succeed in its mission of helping individuals with barriers to employment, often caused by weak school training or a criminal background.
“Per Scholas is truly an example of what we in the borough of the Bronx want to project economically,” Diaz said. “Our young men and women are hungry and want technology, but oftentimes finances are a barrier.”
Diaz said that the non-profit Per Scholas, providing low-cost and free refurbished computers and training to individuals in need, is an organization aiding in workforce development.
Providing some of the funding for the Per Scholas Institute for Technology was Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
“I want to say thank you for establishing a stellar state-of-the-art job training center in my district,” Arroyo said at the dedication. “It is really easy to convince members of the council to support Per Scholas because of the quality of its programming.”
The new institute will include six customized instructional labs, each with a 24-student capacity. There are also two life-skills training rooms, an orientation room for meeting new students, student research library, testing center for computer certifications, office space for staff, computer sales and service center, and student lounge and lunch room.
Representatives from Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.’s office, who said the senator intends on giving $250,000 in funding to Per Scholas, and Senator Pedro Espada Jr., were also present.
Per Scholas has distributed over 72,000 low-cost and no-cost computers to low-income individuals, provided over 30,000 hours of customer support, and trained 2,400 low-income adults to obtain high-wage jobs in the technology field since its founding in 1995.
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@c
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