The Door’s TechBridge is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served:Young adultswho are passionate about technology and ready to begin a career in IT but score below the minimum on Per Scholas’ entrance exam, the TABE
Number of participants served annually: approximately 80 participants (10–12 per 6–8 week cycle)
Location: The Bronx Youth Center, South Bronx
Eligibility: Must be 18–24 years old, qualify for math and English tutoring, and have an interest in tech training
Frequency/Duration: 5 weekswith The Door, followed by 15 weeks, Monday–Friday from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m. with Per Scholas
Application Process: Written application, TABE testing, and an interview
Skill level: Entry-level
Outcomes:A+ and Network+ certification, entry level roles as computer analyst, tech support, and troubleshooting. The Door tracks outcomes such as quarterly job retention.
Partnerships: Per Scholas, Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) of JobsFirstNYC
Cost: Free, $625 stipend and MetroCard
Sources of funding: DYCD (Department of Youth and Community Development)
What makes this program stand out? TechBridge is a bridge programs dedicated to providing support for young adults who have an interest in tech training but do not have the baseline proficiency in math and literacy they need to qualify for the next step. Offered in partnership with Per Scholas, TechBridge admits students into a 5-week program focused on the foundational math and English skills that are needed to succeed in Per Scholas’s intensive IT courses.
TechBridge graduates go on to directly enroll in Per Scholas’ IT Support program and earn their A+ and Network+ certifications through the subsequent 15-week program. During their training at Per Scholas students return to The Door once a week to receive academic tutoring. Both organizations are involved in every step of the process, from admission to post-graduation support.
The Door and Per Scholas are currently expanding the TechBridge program to several New York City-based organizations, including Chinatown Manpower Project.
What do participants need to succeed? Students are given a $625 stipend to support their participation in the first 5-week program. The subsequent 15-week program at Per Scholas will be tuition-free, but participants receive no additional financial assistance. Per Scholas helps participants navigate childcare options and other non-tuition issues, but childcare, transportation, and food security can present financial barriers while students are enrolled full-time in the course.
What does the organization need? The organization is in need of more unrestricted funding. TechBridge has open slots in its program, and so could benefit from greater awareness and marketing capacity to reach qualified applicants.