On December 15, 2020, Lever for Change announced premier technology workforce development organization Per Scholas as the recipient of the $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge. The “Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech” project will improve economic opportunities for low-income individuals within the United States.
Per Scholas seeks to disrupt generational cycles of poverty affecting more than 13,000 individuals seeking technology careers in cities across the U.S. over the next three years. With the $10 million grant, Per Scholas plans to expand 14 existing in-person training locations, launch 10 new ones, and scale new remote offerings to help triple enrollment by 2023. “Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech” will propel low-income people into the middle class by helping them launch successful careers in technology.
On June 24, 2020, we announced the finalist teams that advanced toward the $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge. Selected from a pool of 160 applicants, the finalists represented projects focused on workforce development, asset building, and policy reform:
- Skills for America's Future: Changing Lives Through a Jobs-First Model;
- Moving Families Out of Poverty Permanently: Family Independence Initiative;
- Making Freedom Free: Bail and Economic Mobility in the South;
- Chicago Asset-Building for Children (Chicago ABCs);
The sponsors of the Challenge, who wish to remain anonymous, are seeking additional donors to fund Per Scholas, as well as a number of other highly rated organizations that applied to the Challenge, to ensure that these outstanding projects secure the resources they need to carry out their vital work.
In this regard, Focusing Philanthropy, a multi-year philanthropic partner of Per Scholas, has committed at least $5 million of additional funding to implement Per Scholas’ winning vision articulated in the Economic Opportunity Challenge. Catalyzing the “Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech” project is Focusing Philanthropy’s second “Bold Initiative” – a transformative, large-scale multi-year partnership to support a proven effective model with an established implementation partner.
If you are interested in funding Per Scholas or any of the outstanding projects identified in the Challenge, please contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.