Managing Director, National Capital Region at Per Scholas
What excites you about leading Per Scholas in our region?
Everything is exciting! I am most excited about the opportunity to get more people on the path to access their dream career, to make a living wage, to support their families, and to be a catalyst for change in their communities. I am excited to lead and grow a dynamic, passionate staff. I am excited to get more employer partners involved in our work and poised to hire our amazingly talented student body.
What has surprised you about the students?
I am surprised by how resilient the students are. How committed they are to essentially put their lives on hold for 12-15 weeks while they complete their certifications. How they manage to find time to study, raise families, and balance those responsibilities with Per Scholas' stringent expectations of them.
How can tech professionals get involved with Per Scholas?
Tech professionals are essential to the success of our program model. We need them to come speak to our students and share their experiences, personal journey, and any professional opportunities. We need tech professionals to invite students into their spaces for visits so that students get a sense of how it looks to show up to an office everyday and be prepared to contribute meaningfully to an organization.
What are the unique challenges and opportunities of implementing the Per Scholas model in our region?
Our biggest challenge AND opportunity is getting the word out about our programs here in the National Capital region. We do pretty well with recruiting, but we know there is a lot more untapped talent right here. We need to increase our media and marketing capacity and garner more employer and program partnerships (specifically in DC) to ensure more people know about us and position us to become a premier training program and go-to organization for workforce development.
What are your plans for the coming years?
We are growing! In 2019 we will serve upwards of 300 students, a 67% increase from this year. We are launching a training site in Baltimore and are in talks to launch a training site in DC as well by 2020. In order to support this growth we will also need to scale our internal infrastructure and increase our employer partners for student placements.