COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The S.C. Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation, in collaboration with Build Carolina, today announced SC Codes, a new statewide program designed to provide free access to code education for all residents. A first-of-its-kind, state-funded resource, the new platform connects students with experienced industry mentors and provides pathways for continuing education and employment in technology-related fields.
"The continued development of South Carolina's digital workforce is critical to ensuring future economic prosperity within our borders," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "Our ability to compete in the global economy will rely on the availability of an educated, job-ready technology workforce in South Carolina. SC Codes will help us develop such talent, preparing the citizens of this state for the jobs of tomorrow."
SC Codes is available to any resident with access to the internet; no downloads or special equipment are required. Interested participants can enroll in beginner to advanced curriculum, specifically designed with the demands of the state's industries in mind. Additionally, cohort-style and classroom-led sessions will be available through local community partners. Those interested in becoming a student, a mentor or a community partner can find more information at www.sccodes.org.
SC Codes was first established in 2016 as a pilot project under S.C. Commerce's Innovation Challenge grant with BMW and the Greenville County Public Library System. Now, the statewide platform utilizes proprietary technology created by the leadership of the former Greenville-based Iron Yard Academy.
"The beauty of the platform is that anyone who wants to learn to code can access educational resources that are specific to the needs of employers right here in our state," said Lelia King, executive director of Build Carolina. "South Carolina is leading the charge when it comes to removing barriers to technical education, which will have a direct impact on our workforce, our innovative employers and our economy."
South Carolina's tech sector continues to grow and opportunities for individuals entering the workforce with this type of training are vast. Employment in the state's technology industry expanded by an estimated 2,520 jobs in 2017 and contributed $10.8 billion to the state's economy, according to Cyberstates™ 2018, an analysis published in March by CompTIA. Including more than 6,600 tech businesses, South Carolina's tech sector is responsible for an estimated 5.6 percent of the overall state economy.
About Build Carolina
Build Carolina is a Greenville-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building talent initiatives to support innovative companies across the Carolinas. The Build Carolina team has years of experience in the code education industry through The Iron Yard - one of the first and largest code schools that was built and headquartered in Greenville, S.C. For more information, visit www.buildcarolina.org.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina's leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing business grow. S.C. Commerce has recruited world-class companies to South Carolina such as BMW, Boeing, Continental, Giti Tire, LPL Financial Holdings, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Samsung, Toray and Volvo Cars and also supports startups, small and existing business, innovation and rural development initiatives. S.C. Commerce partners with the S.C. Technical College System via readySC to support workforce training and recruiting, and with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, which provides worker training and employment opportunities within the state. With a strong international footprint, the Palmetto State ranked No. 1 in the nation for attracting jobs through foreign investment on a per capita basis in 2018 -- extending its streak of top three finishes since 2011. Additionally, in five of seven years, the state has won the Gold Shovel Award from Area Development magazine; and, in 2017, the state was recognized as Business Facilities' State of the Year. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.