LaunchCode enters Northwest Arkansas market

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,006 views 

LaunchCode, the St. Louis nonprofit that places aspiring computer programmers with jobs in the industry, has launched its flagship course in Northwest Arkansas.

LC101 is LaunchCode’s introduction to computer programming course. It’s an intensive, 20-week program designed to train students with skills they need to seek an apprenticeship and, ultimately, a career in technology.

Support from the Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville and the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) in Little Rock is backing the course in Northwest Arkansas.

“We welcome LaunchCode to Arkansas as an additional IT Training Partner with the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences,” Bill Yoder, executive director of ACDS, said in a statement. “We know LaunchCode’s proven reputation of increasing the IT capability of participants, and we look forward to connecting those participants to ACDS’ Registered Apprenticeships across IT developer occupations in Northwest Arkansas.”

The 20-week training program is from Oct. 5, 2020, to June 30, 2021. LaunchCode will enroll around 120 individuals and applications are being accepted through Sept 13 at the LaunchCode website. The course will be held virtually until further notice, according to a press release.

“Thanks to the Walton Family Foundation and ACDS, we’re eager to train hard-working people in Northwest Arkansas for tech careers and help provide the talent companies need in today’s digital economy,” Jeff Mazur, LaunchCode executive director, said in a statement. “As the pandemic changes workforce needs, we believe investing in human capital with digital skills training is economic development at its finest.”

According to Code.org, there are over 800 open computing jobs in Arkansas, each with an average salary of $72,662. That’s significantly higher than the statewide average wage.

“The availability of LaunchCode’s training program in Northwest Arkansas is great news for the region,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “Developing a pipeline of tech talent for area companies is critical to the region’s future economic growth and this innovative program will further that effort.”

In its most recent annual report, LaunchCode taught 1,658 individuals coding skills in 2018 and landed 344 people new tech jobs with an average starting salary of $55,000 at 100 hiring company partners across nine U.S. cities.

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