Earlier today, Mayor Greg Fischer joined Code Louisville staff, graduates, and mentors to celebrate creating tech careers and jobs for more than 250 people. The announcement was made at local tech company El Toro, which has hired 12 Code Louisville graduates and been a strong employer partner since the program was launched in 2014.
“It is critical for our economy and our community’s future to have as many people as possible gaining the skills to embrace the technologies of today and tomorrow,” Mayor Fischer said. “So, it’s exciting that a homegrown initiative like Code Louisville has become a national model for developing tech talent – and our goal is to take that to an even higher level.”
There have been 821 graduates of the 12-week training course, ranging in age from 18 to 71. Graduates have landed jobs at more than 150 local companies, with an average starting salary of about $48,000.
This infusion of new computer programming talent into the local economy has made it possible for companies to find skilled workers locally. "20% of our development team are Code Louisville alumni," said Sean Stafford, a founder of El Toro. "This program has been instrumental in allowing our company to continue growing at a rapid pace in Louisville, which hasn't always been thought of as a technology hub. But that perception is changing."
The free training has also been a game-changer for many of its participants, including Tina Maddox, who was a stay-at-home mom when she started Code Louisville. Now, she is one of El Toro's junior engineers.
“I wouldn’t have the job I have today without this training, it’s changed my life,” Maddox said. “It was very hard work but I’m proof that it absolutely can be done, even without any type of tech background.”
Tony Thigpen, another Code Louisville graduate now working as a software engineer in the private sector, thanked the program and the city for all of their support. "This is one of the things that makes Louisville a prosperous city," Tony said. He also talked about how much satisfaction he gets from volunteering as a mentor for Code Louisville students: "The thought that I can now assist other people who are in the position I was in is just amazing. It brings a smile to my face."
Selected media coverage from the event:
Insider Louisville: Code Louisville training connects people with local tech careers
Code Louisville, which is funded through a Workforce Innovation Fund grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, is based just west of the city’s NuLu neighborhood. More information is available at codelouisville.org.