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New program aimed at creating software developers

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The S.C. Commerce Department Office of Innovation is partnering with two statewide nonprofit organizations to create a pilot fellowship program designed to prepare new graduates for software development careers. 


Build Carolina, which runs the SC Codes program, and the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, which runs SC Tech and CyberSec, are working with the Commerce Department on Develop Carolina, according to a news release.  

Develop Carolina is a six-month program for students who have completed degree or certificate programs in computer science or a software development-related field. Fellows chosen to participate in the program will be paired with a local technology company three days a week and will continue to learn as a cohort with other fellows the other two days. 

“A talented digital workforce is key to fueling ingenuity and ensuring future economic success in South Carolina,” Commerce Secretary Harry M. Lightsey III said in the news release. “Develop Carolina will help Team S.C. further develop the talent needed to prepare South Carolinians for both the jobs of today and tomorrow.” 

According to SC Tech’s 2020 Economic Impact Study (pdf),employment in the tech industry in South Carolina has grown to more than 180,000 with an $89 billion total economic impact. Since 2000, the state has seen a 245% growth in the number of tech firms, now numbering more than 2,000, the study says.   

“Our goal for Develop Carolina is to ensure both the fellows and participating companies will benefit from this program,” Lelia King, executive director for Build Carolina, said in the release. “Fellows will sharpen their technical and non-technical skills, meet with tech community leaders and collaborate on building a stronger talent base for South Carolina’s tech ecosystem. Companies will be better positioned to welcome talented new developers in a supported environment.” 

The program will accept applicants this fall and host its first cohort of fellows in early 2022. Interested companies and students may fill out an interest form at the Develop Carolina website. 

“Talent acquisition is one of our biggest struggles in technology,” Susie Shannon, president and CEO of the S.C. Council on Competitiveness. “We are excited to be part of Develop Carolina to offer another resource to our tech and cyber firms that are looking for experienced, motivated employees and to inspire computer science and technology students to pursue tech careers in South Carolina.” 

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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