Jes Staley opens new Per Scholas site in New Jersey

12 April 2019

Barclays Connect with Work programme partner Per Scholas – a nationwide US non-profit organisation that helps people in overlooked communities to overcome the ‘’systemic roadblocks” to careers in technology – opened its doors to a new facility in Newark earlier this week. We report on the launch.

Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley was in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday to open a new branch of Per Scholas – the nationwide US non-profit that helps people in overlooked communities to access careers in technology.

In a landmark day for the 24-year-old organisation, Staley cut a blue ribbon to open the facility, located in Newark’s historic New Jersey Bell Building. The site will offer free training to 100 students each year, helping talented individuals overcome “systemic roadblocks” to employment.

Staley said: “Barclays is proud of its longstanding partnership with Per Scholas, which promotes economic growth and social progress within the communities it serves, and we’re excited to start welcoming the next generation of leaders to the fantastic new training facility in Newark.”

Kelly Richardson, Managing Director at Per Scholas, Newark and New York, said: “Today, we contribute to the beauty of this building and we begin, through tech training and partnership, to meet the requirements of Newark [corporations] and its outstanding future.” 

Per Scholas Newark site opening

Kelly Richardson, Managing Director at Per Scholas, Newark and New York, Jes Staley, Barclays Group CEO, Plinio Ayala, Per Scholas CEO and President and Phil Murphy, New Jersey Governor

A crowd of 300 people joined Staley and Richardson at the launch of the site, which includes three modern technical classrooms, each furnished with twenty workstations.

Nicolio Sambrano, Per Scholas graduate and now a Support Analyst at Barclays Investment Bank, spoke of the transformative effect Per Scholas and Barclays have had on his life, providing inspiration to Newark’s inaugural class of 19 students who joined the programme last month.

Newark is the eighth site to open since Per Scholas launched more than 20 years ago. Since then, 9,000 individuals have taken part in the programme across the US, learning the necessary skills to enter and succeed in a technology career.

With 80% of participants finding employment post-graduation and an average 400% increase in income post-training – the programme has proven to have a lifechanging impact on individuals.

Nicolio Sambrano talking at Per Scholas Newark opening

Nicolio Sambrano, Per Scholas graduate and Support Analyst at Barclays Investment Bank at the new technology training facility in Newark, New Jersey.

 “Welcoming the next generation of leaders”

As a Champion Founding Partner of Per Scholas, Barclays has supported the programme since 2012. It is part of the bank’s unique Connect with Work programme, which connects job-seekers with companies looking to hire. So far, Barclays has recruited more than 50 graduates from Per Scholas, helping to build a diverse talent pipeline for the bank. In addition, hundreds of Barclays colleagues have taken the time to back the programme through volunteering, including hosting mock interview events, mentoring and curriculum development.

Located less than 20 miles from Barclays’ new 63-acre Whippany campus, Per Scholas Newark will offer the bank access to a continued pipeline of talented individuals.

Joining Staley for a VIP tour of Newark’s contemporary technology training facility – featuring demonstrations from staff and students at Per Scholas Newark – were New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Barclays Group General Counsel Bob Hoyt and Global Head of Banking Joe McGrath.

Empowering New Jersey’s “best and brightest’’

Murphy said organisations like Per Scholas were helping to “close the achievement gap” in the state: “For too long, New Jersey’s best and brightest have not been able to reach their full potential because of systemic roadblocks.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who first announced the launch in October, said an “unprecedented economic expansion” was taking place in the city. “Businesses large and small require capable employees, particularly in technology jobs in one of the most ‘wired’ cities in America.

“Per Scholas is enabling Newark residents, some of them economically disadvantaged, to learn skills that will lead to well-paying jobs, careers in the new economy, and economic independence. Per Scholas is a valued partner in our collective work to move Newark forward.”

Richardson recognised the wealth of benefits the programme will bring to Newark: “We are honoured to join the Newark community with the support of so many local employers and organisations.

“Newark’s commitment to economic inclusion is inspiring and we will support this commitment as we work in partnership to connect talented Newarkers with the city and region’s growing tech ecosystem.”