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LaunchCode makes its debut in Tennessee at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis

LaunchTN, Tennessee Board of Regents brings the state a program offering free, 20-week tech education classes to adults

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) announced today its new partnership with LaunchCode, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and Southwest Tennessee Community College to bring LaunchCode’s LC101 free computer programming course to Tennessee for the first time in 2019.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., LaunchCode is a national non-profit organization with a mission to build a skilled workforce in the cities it occupies by creating pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology. Its LC101 course is a free, part-time 20-week class available to students of all ages interested in learning technology skills, including coding, web development and other job-oriented expertise.

Southwest Tennessee Community College’s Union Avenue campus, located in Memphis, will be the first Tennessee school to offer the program. The course, open to all interested participants and not just Southwest Tennessee Community College students, will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. beginning on Feb. 4, 2019. Applications to participate in the Spring 2019 LC101 cohort are open now through Jan. 14.

“LaunchCode’s model has been successful around the country, delivering skills-based curriculum to thousands of motivated people at no cost to them,” said LaunchCode Executive Director Jeff Mazur. “Tennessee is rich with entrepreneurship and innovation and we at LaunchCode are excited about providing aspiring coders in Memphis with the tools to succeed in a high-demand, rewarding industry.”

Careers in technology have historically been reserved to those with a four-year degree in computer science or a related field. LaunchCode’s LC101 course offers accessible training in technology skills to individuals who may not have the time or resources to participate in a four-year program. Through this partnership, more Tennesseans have the opportunity to learn computer programming skills and gain upwardly-mobile, entry-level jobs in technology.

“As the technology industry across Tennessee continues to grow, so does the need for a larger workforce to fill the increasing number of tech jobs in our state,” said Margaret Dolan, CEO & President of LaunchTN. “LaunchCode’s presence in Memphis will not only offer a fantastic opportunity for individuals looking to develop skills that can help them build careers, but it will also strengthen Tennessee’s talent pipeline, bolstering entrepreneurship across the state.”

TBR helped LaunchTN bring LaunchCode to the state by introducing the program to Southwest Tennessee Community College. Not only did TBR play a large role in selecting the pilot site in Tennessee, but the organization will also continue to guide the program in the state by advising on and securing future LaunchCode campuses.

“This is a great program and a good partnership,” said Dr. Carol Puryear, vice chancellor for economic and community development for the Tennessee Board of Regents – The College System of Tennessee. “Information Technology is a high-demand field across Tennessee, and we are happy to be working with LaunchCode to bring these opportunities to West Tennessee.”

For more information or to apply for LC101 at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, visit https://www.launchcode.org/lc101 and select ‘Memphis, TN’ from the drop-down menu, or visit https://launchtn.org/student-programs/launchcode/.

About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, with the goal of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and to stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs. Visit LaunchTN.org/ to discover what makes Tennessee a great state for startups.

About LaunchCode
Founded by Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, LaunchCode is a national nonprofit creating economic opportunity by adding new talent to tech ecosystems across the nation. While careers in technology have traditionally been reserved to those who can afford a four-year computer science degree, LaunchCode’s programs are free and accessible to motivated individuals who are assessed for passion, drive and aptitude rather than credentials.

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