Tennessee’s First-ever LaunchCode Class Set to Graduate Coders July 24 at Southwest Tennessee Community College

Memphians of all ages and from all walks of life will celebrate completing the free coding course as they prepare to launch their computer science careers.

For more information, contact: Diana Fedinec, Director of Public Relations and Media (901) 333-4247 

When LaunchCode and Southwest Tennessee Community College announced this past February they were teaming up to teach Memphians how to code for free, more than 900 residents signed up to take the aptitude test. More than 200 were enrolled in the groundbreaking coding class that promised to prepare participants for 21st Century jobs by teaching them computer coding, web development and other technology skills that could possibly lead to a lucrative job.

LaunchCode will award certificates to those intrepid students who completed the LC101 Coding Class at its graduation ceremony Wednesday, July 24, 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Nursing, Natural Sciences & Biotechnology building on the Union Avenue Campus at 737 Union Avenue near downtown Memphis.

“Teaming up with LaunchCode was a natural partnership for Southwest,” President Tracy D. Hall said. “The program is designed to empower students to pursue a new career and compete at a high level for technology-based jobs, an outcome that is central to our mission at the college.”

Associate vice president for Workforce and Continuing Education Anita Brackin says most technology jobs normally require a four-year degree, but there are opportunities in computer science that reward those with the specific skills gained in the LaunchCode LC101 course.  “This unique course was an outstanding opportunity for the participants to develop coding and other skills that open doors to high-paying jobs,” she said.  “It’s especially impactful for those who may not have the time or resources to obtain an actual degree. It can be truly life-changing.”  

LaunchCode Executive Director Jeff Mazur says Memphis wins, too. "LaunchCode is thrilled to celebrate our first graduates in the state of Tennessee," he said. "By removing barriers and equipping driven individuals with technical skills at no cost to them, we've created homegrown talent for area employers. It's a win for our graduates and for Memphis' tech ecosystem."

Based in St. Louis, Mo., LaunchCode is a national non-profit organization with a mission to build a skilled workforce in the cities it occupies by creating pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology. Its LC101 course is a free, part-time 20-week class.

For more information about LaunchCode in Memphis, contact Suzanne Gibson at (901) 333-4172.

About Launch Tennessee

Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, with the goal of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and to stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs. Visit LaunchTN.org/ to discover what makes Tennessee a great state for startups.

About LaunchCode

Founded by Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, LaunchCode is a national nonprofit creating economic opportunity by adding new talent to tech ecosystems across the nation. While careers in technology have traditionally been reserved to those who can afford a four-year computer science degree, LaunchCode’s programs are free and accessible to motivated individuals who are assessed for passion, drive and aptitude rather than credentials.