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STLCC Hosts Ceremony for LaunchCode Grads, New Web Developers

After 20 weeks of learning, mentorship and applying new skills in the technology industry, a cohort of 120 students are ready to graduate and launch into new careers as web developers.

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley will host a graduation ceremony for LaunchCode, a national nonprofit that creates pathways to economic opportunity and upward mobility through free education, apprenticeships and job placement in technology. The ceremony is Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 6-8 p.m. in the Physical Education building at STLCC-Florissant Valley.

The cohort began their journey in summer 2018. For the first time, LaunchCode’s LC101 was held at STLCC’s Center for Workforce Innovation, adjacent to STLCC-Florissant Valley. In addition, LC101 took place at LaunchCode’s Mentor Center in the city of St. Louis. The combined cohorts represent students are primarily adults from all walks of life - from those with skills to those without experience.

Through its flagship program, LC101, participants become web developers through a 20-week computer programming course. It’s taught in programming languages such as Python, Java and C#, and teaches skills that are in high demand in the tech industry. LC101 provides a supportive classroom environment with in-person mentoring from instructors, teaching fellows and local developers.

“LaunchCode is committed to solving the tech talent gap by matching driven individuals with companies in need of tech talent, but we can’t do it alone,” said Jeff Mazur, executive director, LaunchCode. “Partnering with other organizations and community initiatives allows us to reach more aspiring technologists and connect with more companies who will hire them. LaunchCode is not just changing individual lives, but impacting entire communities, and we know our mission is stronger when we join forces with others with the same goal.

“The Center for Workforce Innovation perfectly aligns with LaunchCode’s mission to strengthen both today’s workforce and provide driven individuals the skills needed for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Mazur. “This is our first course in North County. The location of CWI enabled us to be even more accessible to our students, who come from across the St. Louis region.”

Hart Nelson, associate vice chancellor for workforce solutions, St. Louis Community College, noted a connection between the missions of both organizations.

“The College’s 2018 State of the St. Louis Workforce Report highlighted the continuing high demand for coders and web developers in our region. Our partnership with LaunchCode, which began in 2015, is one way we are helping to educate the workforce that employers need while allowing individuals to enter a new, high-paying career,” said Nelson.

“LaunchCode graduates’ hard work also pays off with credit for prior learning toward a software developer Associate of Applied Science degree at St. Louis Community College.”

LaunchCode was established in St. Louis in 2013 by Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square.

During the ceremony, Charter Spectrum will announce LaunchCode as a recipient of its 2018 Digital Education Grant and present LaunchCode with $35,000 to expand educational programming and help individuals gain access to digital skills.

LaunchCode Summer 2018 Cohort Graduation Ceremony
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley
Physical Education building
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135

Keynote speaker: Shawn Jones, instructor, LaunchCode
Check presentation: Charter Spectrum
Remarks: Jeff Mazur, executive director, LaunchCode; Hart Nelson, associate vice chancellor for workforce solutions, STLCC

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