KC nonprofit bridging IT skill gap by offering technology training for free

There’s a growing demand for information technology professionals. There’s also a local program in Kansas City working to fill the gap.LaunchCode 101 is looking for people who want a career in computer technology. If you qualify, the training is free.Before the pandemic, Lindsey Lasswell was a school librarian. While recovering from a severe case of COVID-19, she started looking at a career change. “I had always wanted to go into coding and tech. When I was younger, there weren’t a lot of women in there, ”Lasswell said. Then she heard about LaunchCode, a nonprofit offering 25 weeks of extensive IT training for free. In less than a year, she’s finished the course and completed a paid apprenticeship. Lasswell now has a full-time job with the KC tech company Mobile Up Software. “I had looked at a few other boot camps in the area, and none of them compared in terms of being able to connect you to jobs,” Lasswell said. . LaunchCode works with local tech companies to see what the needs are. The goal is to create a more diverse workforce by eliminating barriers. That’s why the program is free. “Usually, people ask, ‘Are you sure like that doesn’t seem right?’ And it truly is a free program, ”LaunchCode Managing Director Kate Kershaw said. The program is taking applications now. You have to be at least 18 and have a high school degree. Most of the interest comes from people looking for a second career. “We’ve had baristas, teachers, librarians, liberal arts, artists, musicians, and all different walks of life,” Kershaw said. whole new career by the end of the program. “It was one of the hardest things that I’ve done. But it was totally worth it, ”Lasswell said. LaunchCode 101 is accepting 150 students for the 25-week program. It’s taking applications now through May 8.You can apply here.

There’s a growing demand for information technology professionals. There’s also a local program in Kansas City working to fill the gap.

LaunchCode 101 is looking for people who want a career in computer technology. If you qualify, the training is free.

Before the pandemic, Lindsey Lasswell was a school librarian. While recovering from a severe case of COVID-19, she started looking at a career change.

“I had always wanted to go into coding and tech. When I was younger, there weren’t a lot of women in there, ”Lasswell said.

Then she heard about LaunchCode, a nonprofit offering 25 weeks of extensive IT training for free. In less than a year, she’s finished the course and completed a paid apprenticeship. Lasswell now has a full-time job with the KC tech company Mobile Up Software.

“I had looked at a few other boot camps in the area, and none of them compared in terms of being able to connect you to jobs,” Lasswell said.

LaunchCode works with local tech companies to see what the needs are. The goal is to create a more diverse workforce by eliminating barriers. That’s why the program is free.

“Usually, people ask, ‘Are you sure that doesn’t seem right?’ And it truly is a free program, ”LaunchCode Managing Director Kate Kershaw said.

The program is taking applications now. You have to be at least 18 and have a high school degree. Most of the interest comes from people looking for a second career.

“We’ve had baristas, teachers, librarians, liberal arts, artists, musicians, and all different walks of life,” Kershaw said.

Like Lasswell, the trainees usually have a whole new career by the end of the program.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But it was totally worth it, ”Lasswell said.

LaunchCode 101 is accepting 150 students for the 25-week program. It’s taking applications now through May 8.

You can apply here.

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