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On Friday, LaunchCode revealed plans to open a new facility, their Mentor Center, in St. Louis’ north side. During an announcement at the building at 4811 Delmar Blvd., which was donated by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, LaunchCode introduced their plans for the space.
Once an unemployment office, LaunchCode plans to turn 9,000 feet of the building into a new community center that will make technology resources available to a wider audience, including underprivileged kids. Founder Jim McKelvey says, “Giving St. Louis youth access to valued technology skills and education will not only give them a pathway to upward mobility and a better life, but also allow them a chance to bring St. Louis to the forefront of the technology community.”
This mentor center is in line with LaunchCode’s overall goal. The company, which operates in St. Louis and Miami, is working to solve the need for tech talent in the United States by training coders and placing them as apprentices with companies. They currently place apprentices in 10 states, but plan to operate in all 50 states by the end of 2015.
The building will also house Blue1647, a coding bootcamp company based in Chicago, as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the lease on the building has just been signed and no opening date for the center has been announced, but the hopeful expectation is that doors will open this summer.