Goodwill Nynj Bridge to Tech Expands Services to Break Barriers for Entry Into Tech Careers

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is expanding the services of its Bridge To Tech program launched two years ago to equip individuals enrolled in New York City’s Human Resources Administration city-wide Career Services programs with the necessary skills to qualify for and graduate from a range of advanced technology training providers and obtain in-demand tech jobs. Thanks to $1 million funding from the New York City Council and additional funding from Amazon and Google, Goodwill’s program will now offer a bridge to cybersecurity training in partnership with Per Scholas and a bridge to the Pursuit Fellowship.

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Bridge To Tech, a “pre-apprenticeship” training, furthers New York City’s Career Pathway system. It develops a linkage between foundational skills training and advanced training to increase overall alignment within the workforce development system and create more opportunities for deserving New Yorkers to reach middle-income jobs and careers. The training increases each person’s math and literacy skills, as well as an understanding of navigating the tech industry and related careers. In addition, Goodwill NYNJ provides participants with valuable assessment, transition planning, and wrap-around services to alleviate challenges as they persist through training, credentialing and on to their next step.

The current Council advocated to continuing funding for the Goodwill bridge program within the workforce development system that Invest in Skills NYC, have endorsed. In 2022, Council members Brewer, Farias, Restler, and Rivera championed within the NYC Council the need and value of investing in bridge programs to create access to job training and economic opportunity.

Goodwill’s Bridge to Tech program results show that 90% of bridge graduates increase their literacy and numeracy to qualify and join advanced training programs and 55% of year 1 participants who completed advanced trainings are employed. Goodwill expects year 2 participants to achieve credentials and secure employment in higher rates as they gain valuable experience with the advanced training partners. Participants like Nigel a 49-year-old Brooklyn resident who was unemployed, living with his parents, and receiving public assistance before coming to Goodwill. After graduating from the Goodwill Bridge to Tech program, he is now working as an IT technician for a temporary IT agency.

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This bridge program will prepare students for advanced training programs such as the Per Scholas cybersecurity training, which offers the opportunity to earn the Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+). This certification equips learners with fundamental concepts in security specialties and hands-on training to enter this ever-growing field as a cybersecurity analyst. The  Pursuit Fellowship provides basic coding skills as they relate to technology and the work of an IT support professional, with a target on software engineering opportunities. It provides on-ramps to career pathways, training, and evidence-based wraparound services to create successful students in full-time tech training. Credentialed graduates will be matched with tech-related jobs at employer partners in all sectors.

“Per Scholas is truly excited to build on our Bridge To Tech partnership with Goodwill NYNJ, expanding to now offer cybersecurity training. We know that the power of working together accelerates the success of the individuals who go through our training programs, helping ensure that they are able to start a career in the In-demand field of cybersecurity, leading to transformational earnings growth and impact on families, as well as across communities,” stated Abe Mendez, Per Scholas New York Managing Director.

Per Scholas’ education model is proven in both the short and long term at successfully training individuals and helping them get placement into stable tech careers. Through rigorous and tuition-free technology training and professional development programs, Per Scholas graduates experience a 300% salary increase on average, which has a transformational impact on our graduates, their families, and communities.

Through comprehensive and rigorous training on full-stack web development, industry readiness, and leadership and professional development, Pursuit has graduated more than 700 Fellows to date, which has resulted in approximately $700 million in incremental lifetime wage gains for low-income workers.

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cybersecurityGoodwillskills trainingTECHNOLOGYworkforce development
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