South Carolina residents can learn how to write computer codes for free through a new state Department of Commerce program.
Anyone can take the lessons under a program called SC Codes from their computer at home or from a class with technology mentors.
“We will also have in-person site facilitation with mentors that will allow those people who are completing the program online to also have in-person mentorship opportunities,” Office of Innovation connectivity specialist Kim Christ said.
SC Codes is now offered statewide after a 2016 Greenville pilot program launched with the nonprofit Build Carolina proved successful. Roughly 150 people graduated from the program.
“This would be available to those who may not have been able to have a technology education before,” Christ said. “And it’s also available to those people who are in the technology field and they may want to level up and so they may be using this as professional development.”
Christ said the program is an effort to prepare the workforce for in-demand jobs in technology.
“The continued development of South Carolina’s digital workforce is critical to ensuring future economic prosperity within our borders,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a statement. “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.”
The Office of Innovation also is looking for mentors, advocates and employers to participate.
“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,” Build Carolina executive director Lelia King said. “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.”