Instead of training people and trying to fit them into jobs, Workforce Opportunity Services does it the other way around. The Harlem-based nonprofit sponsors college-level IT training for disadvantaged students. They ask employers what they are looking for and find them in their talent pool.
WOS was founded in 2005 by Arthur Langer of Columbia University. The training takes places at Columbia’s School of Engineering as well as Penn State and Rutgers. Most of the students attend classes at night and work full-time during the day. The school pays for tuition, textbooks and other expenses with funds from employers. Because students work as independent contractors, companies still save money. WOS’ clients include Avon, HBO, Prudential and the Museum of Modern Art.