LaunchCode Announces Major Expansion as Part of U.S. Department of Labor TechHire Initiative

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LaunchCode announced today it has been awarded support through 2020 as part of the U.S. Department of Labor grants in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. These grants will provide LaunchCode and its partners with $7.8 million through the U.S. Department of Labor. The summary of the grants is here on the White House’s website.

Executive Director Brendan Lind said this funding will help LaunchCode expand upon its mission to ensure anyone who can do a job in tech is able to get a job in tech. The nonprofit, a nonprofit founded by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey that partners with over 500 companies nationwide to offer paid apprenticeships and jobs for aspiring developers and technologists, currently operates offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Mo, South Florida and Providence, Rhode Island.

“Less than three years ago, LaunchCode started as an experiment to see if companies would take on talented job candidates typically overlooked by HR departments. Four hundred apprenticeships later, we have shown our model works, and with funding through Department of Labor TechHire grants, LaunchCode will be able to help more people in more communities reach their potential through education, apprenticeships, and jobs in technology,” said Lind in a press release Monday.

“LaunchCode provides businesses access to tech talent they otherwise couldn’t find, enabling them to grow and make positive impacts on communities and the national economy. Beyond a business’s bottom line, LaunchCode is a scalable solution to some of the biggest economic challenges we’re facing as a country, including unemployment, underemployment, wage stagnation, and an under-skilled workforce,” said Jim McKelvey, founder of LaunchCode and co-founder of Square.

LaunchCode has placed more than 420 candidates in jobs in technology at companies in more than a dozen states. Its success earned the organization a profile in Fast Company.

Since announcing TechHire last year, the White House has profiled multiple LaunchCode candidates on blogs and through social media. LaunchCode alumnus Terrence Bowen was a featured speaker at the announcement of the TechHire grant competition in Baltimore in November and President Obama highlighted LaShana Lewis’ journey, from driving a bus in East St. Louis to working as a systems engineer at MasterCard, at the launch of TechHire last Spring.

LaunchCode is supported by partnerships with companies and communities across the country. As one example, Accenture has provided more than $380,000 in cash awards and 5,000 hours of pro bono consulting support.

“Accenture has long been committed to preparing the next generation of technology innovators,” said Michael Gallagher, managing director and head of Accenture’s St. Louis office. “We are proud to support LaunchCode in their efforts to create pathways to employment in communities across the United States, and we congratulate them on this award.”

Accenture supports the organization through its global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which advances employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals by using technology to drive impact at scale. Accenture’s efforts have focused on improving LaunchCode’s operations and ability to scale in preparation for national expansion through opportunities like Tech Hire.

LaunchCode also hosts events like CoderGirl, a weekly meet-up for women coders, and Summer of Code, a collection of four free 20-week coding courses designed to put people on a path towards a career in technology, which kicked off earlier this month.