Employers are expecting that perfect workforce experience, where people can come in and start working on day one.

With so many displaced americans out there that have solid understanding of the logic necessary to build the program, why are we not putting them back to work?

A more tested example is a well-regarded nonprofit called Per Scholas, which helps prepare underprivileged women and people of color for careers in IT and cybersecurity through free in-person classes and support services. It designs its curricula by working closely with large employers, so that its students emerge prepared for the jobs that exist now. The group says 80 percent of its 7,000 graduates are employed. A randomized controlled trialpublished last year found that the program raised participants’ wages by an average 27 percent. Even when salaries don’t increase immediately upon graduation, the participants’ new jobs can offer more potential for growth. Blair Hilliard, who finished the 14-week program last summer, says she makes only a little more as an IT support specialist at footwear retailer DSW than she did at the lower-skilled IT job she held prior to Per Scholas. But now she says she has opportunities for promotion and the knowledge she needs to move up, which she didn’t have before.



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