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Code Louisville Will Expand Training for Technology Jobs With New $2.9 Million Federal Grant

LOUISVILLE -- Free training to prepare people for a rising number of computer software coding jobs will be expanded by a new $2.9 million federal grant, Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth announced today.

The federal Workforce Innovation Fund Grant was awarded by the Department of Labor to KentuckianaWorks to expand the reach of its free software coding training program, Code Louisville, into an additional 12 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana using the Treehouse online learning platform. Ryan Carson, founder and CEO of Treehouse, joined Fischer and Yarmuth for the announcement.

“Earning these federal dollars shows the importance we place on giving our citizens the skills to succeed in higher-tech jobs which in turn attracts more technology and innovation-based companies to our city and region,” Fischer said. “The expansion of this valuable training also validates the pioneering partnership we created locally to launch Code Louisville.”

For the past year, Code Louisville has been partnering with the Louisville Free Public Library to use Treehouse, an online video and interactive learning platform, for its training. The Workforce Innovation Grant will allow KentuckianaWorks to expand Code Louisville to people outside of Louisville and offer the free coding education to hundreds of residents in Bullitt, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties in Kentucky and Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Washington, Harrison and Scott counties in Southern Indiana. The grant also provides for helping graduates of the course find jobs with leading technology companies in the region with the help of career specialists at the Kentucky Career Centers and Work One in Southern Indiana.

By 2020, there will be one million more computer programming jobs in the U.S. than workers to fill them, and 10,400 of those jobs will be in the Louisville Metro area – the 13-county training region.

Currently, the area has more than 1,700 technology job openings. Salaries start at $45,000-$60,000 with no degree necessary. Code Louisville was created to close the skills gap and prepare the region’s residents to demonstrate those job-ready skills for these high-paying tech jobs.

The goal for Code Louisville is to get a minimum of 850 coders trained and working for local companies over the next three years, Fischer added.

“When we prepare Louisvillians for the jobs of the future, we ensure our community remains vibrant and our economy continues to grow,” Yarmuth said. “I’m proud to support strong federal investments in Code Louisville and other job training programs that help our workforce stay ahead of the curve.”

Code Louisville courses last 12 weeks and cover skills such as front and back-end Web development, and development of software and applications for mobile devices. Students work independently on their own schedule and meet one day a week in the evenings for two hours to review their work, get “unstuck” and learn from experienced mentors in the tech community. At the end of each course, students have compiled a portfolio of work to show prospective employers at a job fair or interview.

“Code Louisville is part of Treehouse’s national Code-to-Work movement, which will take someone with no computer programming experience, teach them how to code and help them land a job in the tech industry - all without a degree,” said Treehouse’s Carson. “We can help anyone become a successful computer programmer, and in doing so through Code Louisville, we’re also helping to establish this 13-county region as a software talent capital and create a more vibrant and diverse technology workforce.”

People interested in learning more about Code Louisville or enrolling in the next class can go to www.codelouisville.org/candidates/.

Local software developers who would like to mentor a Code Louisville class can sign up to help at www.codelouisville.org/mentors/.

KentuckianaWorks is Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board and an agency of Louisville Metro Government. For more information about its programs, go to www.kentuckianaworks.org.