LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Code Louisville graduates and local tech leaders joined with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Kentucky Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman and Councilman Markus Winkler on Monday to celebrate the latest milestone achieved by the software training program. Code Louisville, run by the region’s workforce development board KentuckianaWorks, has now placed 543 of its graduates into new careers in the technology sector.
Code Louisville’s mission is to make quality tech training available to everyone by removing barriers and offering high-quality software development training to Louisville residents free of charge.
“Every Kentuckian has the right to quality education and job training. Code Louisville is doing this by cultivating a thriving tech ecosystem in the Louisville region. Code Louisville isn’t just helping prepare individuals for good tech careers, it’s also building a community of tech collaborators and mentors,” Coleman said.
Nearly 300 companies and organizations have hired at least one Code Louisville graduate. Ernesto Ramos, the co-founder of Louisville startup Switcher Studio, is one of many tech employers who have benefitted from Code Louisville.
“We’ve hired three of our software engineers through Code Louisville,” said Ramos, who has also served as a mentor for the program. “One of the cool aspects of being a mentor is you get to work with up-and-coming software developers firsthand. It’s a great way to find talented candidates.”
Chris Schremser, chief technology officer of Waystar, also emphasized the importance of this program locally. Waystar, based in Louisville, has hired or promoted 14 Code Louisville graduates in the past five years.
Louisville has added nearly 4,000 new tech jobs since 2015 and is now seeing a faster growth rate in tech jobs than many of its peer cities. Graduates of Code Louisville credit the program with their success in breaking into the city’s growing tech industry.
“My background was in accounting before I found Code Louisville. During COVID-19, I wasn’t seeing many open positions in the financial sector so I gravitated towards tech and got a good job as a technology consultant at Deloitte where I see a lot of potential on this career path,” said Code Louisville graduate Jenna Williams. “Code Louisville not only helped me get trained, but the staff also encouraged me to apply for jobs I was actually interested in and gave me the confidence and boost I needed.”
“I joined Code Louisville because I had been in a career in healthcare for a number of years and was ready for something new,” said Code Louisville graduate Djuan Ellis. “After taking courses at Code Louisville I was able to get an apprenticeship as a software developer at Appriss. I’m very happy I followed my curiosity and got into this field. It can be challenging at times, but I enjoy the challenge.”
Code Louisville began in 2013 and was expanded in 2015 through a federal Workforce Innovation Grant. That same year, President Barack Obama praised the program’s effectiveness during his visit to Louisville, calling on cities and states across the country to follow Kentucky’s example. Code Louisville is now funded by Louisville Metro Government and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
“My hope is that we can expand capacity at Code Louisville and other similar programs so that all Louisvillians seeking to improve their job skills have the opportunity,” Councilman Winkler said.
Code Louisville offers students a unique blend of online learning, career readiness training, and guidance from experienced software development professionals. Its tech industry mentors have donated more than 5,000 hours of their time to help make the program a success.
Due to COVID-19, all Code Louisville classes are currently offered online. To learn more about the program and how to get involved, either as a participant, mentor, or employer seeking talented programmers, visit https://codelouisville.org/.