IT training program through Per Scholas, Cognizant

Hundreds of New Yorkers will receive IT training through Per Scholas and Cognizant through a new program announced by Empire State Development.
Per Scholas

Empire State Development will partner with Per Scholas and IT giant Cognizant to create a city-based job training program to help New Yorkers access career opportunities in the growing IT, digital, and tech sectors, the state announced Friday, June 16.

The south Bronx-based training program will provide no-cost training and career development resources for as many as 650 New Yorkers with through a partnership with Cognizant, a Fortune 500 global provider of business and technology services.

The program will be run through the Urban Development Center at 804 E. 138th Street in Mott Haven.

Cognizant, a global leader in business, digital and technology services and one of the largest STEM recruiters in the United States, intends to hire as many as 350 of the training program’s graduates for its client sites in the five boroughs.

“As our tech sector flourishes, we need to make sure our workforce is trained to meet this demand and be part of the incredible growth,” said ESD president Howard Zemsky. “This training partnership between Cognizant and Per Scholas is an important part of that effort.”

Empire State Development is supporting the $6 million Cognizant program with $2 million in performance-based tax credits through the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program.

The funding will support the recruitment and training of the students who will be able to apply for jobs at Cognizant and elsewhere in the tech industry.

“The U.S. needs more qualified IT talent and this partnership is just one example of how we continue to invest in our communities to train American workers for next generation digital opportunities,” said Jim Lennox, Cognizant’s chief people officer.

Over the past 20 years, Per Scholas has trained over 6,500 people from overlooked communities across the country who lack the resources but not the creativity and determination to succeed in the tech industry, said company president Plinio Ayala.

“The increased demand for local talent, along with the rising number of technology jobs available, means that companies are exploring strategies to access talent outside of their traditional pipelines,” Ayala said. “These public/private partnerships will build the workforce of the future and we hope this can be a model that others will replicate, both supporting employer demand and strengthening the communities we serve.”

Per Scholas managing director of Special Ventures Annie Norbeck said the new classes are aimed at people who already have a year or so of experience in the IT field with at least one coding language, such as graduates of their entry level classes, and are looking to bring their skills to the next level.

The first class, quality engineering and assurance, begins Tuesday, July 20 and is open to applicants 18 and older.

The 8-week class runs full-time, five days a week.

“This is for people looking to take their tech career to the next level,” Norbeck said.

Applications for the program will be available online at in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the upcoming training opportunities, email

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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