LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michelson 20MM Foundation is proud to partner with nonprofit Opportunity@Work in a pilot program that aims to train underserved and underrepresented individuals for high-paying careers in the tech industry. The venture with Opportunity@Work is the latest in the foundation's ongoing mission to transform learning and improve access to educational opportunities that lead to meaningful careers.
"What happens when we invest in students the way we invest in startups?" asks Phil Kim, President of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. "We reshape the model of educational financing, and expand learning, training, and employment opportunities to people that would have otherwise been excluded under traditional financing vehicles."
Opportunity@Work and pilot training partner General Assembly are offering a 14-week tech training program for students who are typically underrepresented in the tech community and unable to afford the cost of training. As part of this pilot, known as the Learn and Earn program, selected applicants will learn valuable coding skills and have 100% of their tuition fully covered, while also receiving $2100 each month for living expenses. Following course completion, General Assembly's career counselors will support the student's search for a high-paying tech job. In return, the student agrees to repay a portion of their income, for a designated timeframe, to help finance future student training.
"Opportunity@Work is pioneering a 'student-first' financing solution that is inclusive, outcomes-based and holistic. This includes underwriting based on an individual's potential (not their past credit history), linking tuition repayments to successful career outcomes and providing additional stipends and wrap-arounds services to support students," said Karan Chopra, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Opportunity@Work. "Rather than issuing a traditional loan, Opportunity@Work provides access to financing where students will pay a portion of their income for a fixed term with limits so that payments are guaranteed to be affordable and with no repayment obligation if the student is earning less than $35,000 per year."
Moreover, Opportunity@Work provides a monthly stipend that covers housing, transportation, and other living costs. Since the stipend never needs to be repaid, students are free to focus on their coursework and finding full-time employment in the tech sector rather than working a second job. To ensure that students are fully supported through their transition, Opportunity@Work also provides access to a life coach and career coach.
"Income Share Agreements afford more students the opportunity to gain valuable training without the worry of having to qualify or repay education loans that may not materialize in gainful employment," says Dr. Gary Michelson, founder of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. "Furthermore, it commits the financier to helping the student achieve success in the workforce. This realignment of interests holds everyone accountable."
The Michelson 20MM Foundation is a proud supporter of the Opportunity@Work Learn and Earn pilot program.
About the Michelson 20MM Foundation
The Michelson 20MM Foundation supports and invests in leading edge entrepreneurs, technologies, and initiatives with the potential to improve postsecondary access, affordability, and efficacy. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson. To learn more, visit www.Michelson20mm.org.
Opportunity@Work is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy. By 2025, Opportunity@Work will empower over 1 million Americans, creating $20 billion+ per year of additional earnings for Americans across the country. Opportunity@Work expands access to career opportunities by building partnerships with employers, community organizations, civic leadership and job seekers to transform hiring practices, expand learning pathways, and pioneer talent financing. To learn more, visit www.opportunityatwork.org.
Media contact: Mayra Lombera, 818-618-1281, Mayra@20mm.org
SOURCE The Michelson 20MM Foundation