Local college gains national attention for post-grad success - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local college gains national attention for post-grad success

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YAKIMA, WA - One local college is getting national attention for the success of its students after graduation.

The New York Times has named Perry Technical Institute in Yakima the top out of 700 two-year colleges in income mobility, meaning students are most able to reach higher incomes after graduating, and often have a high chance of making more than their parents.

"Many of them have worked manual labor their entire lives from very young ages, so they've watched their parents do the same thing," says Dean of Education, Nathaniel Hull. "So, they understand how much this education could change all that."

President of the college, Christine Cote, says although Perry has always known they had a special way of doing things, the recognition confirms their hard work.

"While they're here, we not only teach the technical skills, but we work with them on the soft skills that could be barriers for employment: goal setting, financial literacy, showing up on time, and all of those things that employers are asking for," Cote says.

One first-generation college student in his second year says both the resources at Perry and the support of his grandmother who raised him have let him get so far.

"I think she [would say]...'Do you hard work', and coming to Perry she established that more. 'Do your work, do good work, and continue and you can go where you want to'," says Francisco Rojas, an IT student. "You're not stuck always at the bottom. If you put in the work you can move up and really go places."

In addition to one-on-one goal setting with staff, career prep, and financial readiness workshops, students at Perry Tech gain the problem-solving skills necessary in their technical training needed for any post-grad venture.

Perry Tech is also considered to have exceptional gainful employment standards, meaning a large number of students are able to minimalize student loan debt after graduating.