Greenville County Library System has joined forces with the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other area partners to tackle a critical employment gap in the state technology job market – the availability of skilled computer programmers.
The innovative approach of this new initiative, SC Codes Greenville (SC Codes), combines online learning, weekly in-person meetings and mentorship support to provide free, basic computer programming training to adults.
Enrollment in SC Codes is open to anyone 18 or older with a high school diploma or equivalent and includes an emphasis on serving population segments currently underrepresented in the technology industry—women, minorities and individuals who face barriers to employment.
“The SC Codes planning team focused on creating an accessible model that would open doors to computer programming and increase diversity in the technology industry,” offers Brian Morrison, Discovery Services Manager at the Greenville County Library System. “By leveraging resources from multiple community partners, the program offers a support system to keep students motivated as they learn programming plus helps them address issues that could interfere with their success. We believe this model will foster student achievement, contribute to the vibrancy of our local technology community and ultimately support economic development in Greenville County and our region.”
The project model offered by SC Codes has two primary components:
- Connecting students to a defined curriculum available through online learning resources such as freeCodeCamp.com, a free website that teaches programming, and Lynda.com, an online video library that’s freely available through the Greenville County Library System.
- Hosting weekly program meetups, which will build peer communities among students and also connect them to volunteer mentors from the local technology industry for learning assistance and support.
Student applications are being currently accepted for the first 12-week session which begins September 19th. Students can apply online at sccodes.org.
Greenville County Library System is serving as the project lead for the initial year of SC Codes with a one-year funding grant of $40,000 from the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The SC Codes program model is based on Code Louisville, a similar program previously implemented in Louisville, Kentucky. Like Code Louisville, SC Codes is being developed with the idea of being scalable to other communities.
“SC Codes Greenville will light a spark with people unfamiliar with coding, and create new opportunities for a diverse group of students in the Greenville area to be competitive in the fast-growing digital economy." SC Commerce Secretary, Bobby Hitt.
In addition to the SC Department of Commerce, other partners in the SC Codes project include Greenville County Workforce Development and Women Who Code Greenville, a local chapter of a global nonprofit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers.
The SC Codes project headquarters will be located at NEXT on Main in the OpenWorks co-working space as part of the growing tech hub in the Bank of America building. SC Codes project will take an active role within the technology and entrepreneurial community with the goal of developing strategic relationships with computer programmers, software user groups, and employers.