STLCC-LaunchCode Partnership Places Students on Fast Track in Coding Careers

By on March 4, 2019
STLCC-LaunchCode Partnership Places Students on Fast Track in Coding Careers

St. Louis Community College and LaunchCode have combined forces to deliver a job-readiness fast track coding bootcamp. The free, 14-week full-time STLCC Immersive CodeCamp, powered by LaunchCode, deep dives into technologies and skills that are in-demand by St. Louis region employers.

“STLCC’s mission to expand minds and change lives, particularly by connecting those for whom a conventional education pathway may not be immediately viable, mirrors LaunchCode’s underpinning values,” explains Hart Nelson, associate vice chancellor for STLCC Workforce Solutions Group. “We share a mission to create diverse, accessible pathways to careers.”

The partnership aims to bridge tech job opportunities and a previously underserved population. Taught at STLCC’s William J. Harrison Education Center in JeffVanderLou neighborhood, Immersive CodeCamp combines proven curriculum with important wrap-around services, including individualized career coaching and support services. The College will offer loaner laptops to students who do not own a computer that meets specifications required for the course. “STLCC and LaunchCode both realize that access to expensive hardware like computers could present a barrier for some applicants, and our partnership evens the opportunity for candidates,” says Nelson.

Ultimately, the course is designed to prepare students for LaunchCode’s Apprenticeship Program. Jeff Mazur, executive director of LaunchCode, explains, “This apprenticeship provides a low-risk way for companies to add diverse, fresh tech talent to their team. Not only are our students gaining technical skills while enrolled in CodeCamp, they also leave job-ready and have the qualities needed by the over 300 hiring partners we work with across the country.” According to the organization, four out of five apprentices convert to permanent employment — a win-win for both employers and students.

This past winter in St. Louis, LaunchCode received over 1,200 applications for about 150 available seats in its flagship course, LC101, which is delivered in part at STLCC’s Center for Workforce Innovation. Mazur cites this response as a powerful indicator: “[it] proves what we already know – the hunger to learn digital skills is immense. Thanks to St. Louis Community College, we’re able to offer programming to even more St. Louisans who are eager to learn skills and launch a career in tech.”

These stats mirror findings of STLCC’s 2018 State of the St. Louis Workforce Report, which identified that 61 percent of St. Louis IT firms struggle to find qualified applicants and that, simultaneously, 50 percent of IT firms plan to add more jobs in 2019.

Applications are being accepted through March 15 for the April 1 cohort of STLCC’s Immersive CodeCamp, powered by LaunchCode. Learn more about the program and upcoming information sessions at launchcode.org/codecamp.

About Lysa Young-Bates

Lysa Young-Bates is Marketing Communications Manager of St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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