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New program to help S.C. residents learn coding

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A new program that will provide free access to code education is being offered to all residents in South Carolina.

The S.C. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation partnered with Build Carolina to offer the program, called S.C. Codes, statewide. The program will use state resources to connect students with industry mentors and to provide a path for continuing education and employment in technology-related fields.

“The continued development of South Carolina's digital workforce is critical to ensuring future economic prosperity within our borders,” S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a news release. “Our ability to compete in the global economy will rely on the availability of an educated, job-ready technology workforce in South Carolina. S.C. Codes will help us develop such talent, preparing the citizens of this state for the jobs of tomorrow."

The program started as a pilot project in 2016 funded by grants from the S.C. Commerce Innovation Challenge with BMW and the Greenville County Library System. The statewide platform uses technology created by coding bootcamp Iron Yard Academy, which was headquartered in Greenville before its 15 nationwide locations closed in July 2017.

“The beauty of the platform is that anyone who wants to learn to code can access educational resources that are specific to the needs of employers right here in our state,” Lelia King, executive director of Build Carolina, said in a release.

Build Carolina is a nonprofit organization that supports talent initiatives and innovative companies throughout the state.   

The S.C. Codes program is available to all residents with access to the internet and provides beginner and advanced curriculum. Classroom sessions will be available through local partners.

According to an analysis by the Computing Technology Industry Association, a nonprofit trade group, state employment in the technology industry grew by nearly 2,520 jobs in 2017 and contributed $10.8 billion to the state’s economy.

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