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We Lead CS virtual computer academy begins in fall

3,000+ computer science jobs paying an average $70,000 are unfilled Kentucky

LOUISVILLE — We Lead Virtual Computer Science Academy (We Lead CS) a new statewide virtual computer science academy, is poised to begin classes in the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year after receiving $3 million in state funding from the Kentucky General Assembly in the 2024-2026 budget.

We Lead CS is a national model and will offer students the opportunity to earn dual credits in computer science (secondary and post-secondary) and a fast pass to a new career in all 120 Kentucky counties. Equally as important, graduates will still attend and be awarded diplomas from their respective local high schools.

“Last year, there were over 3,000 open computer science jobs –with an average salary of $70,000 – unfilled in Kentucky,” said Alicia Sells, We Lead CS CEO. “By bringing accessible computer science education to students outside the confines of the classroom, We Lead CS will help more Kentuckians build brighter futures and, at the same time, create a talent pipeline that Kentucky businesses desperately need.”

The effort to fund We Lead CS was championed by House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. David Givens, both of whom are confident that We Lead CS will be transformational as lawmakers look to build the workforce of the future today in the Commonwealth.

“Without a doubt this session is the most successful in modern history, providing record investments in our priority areas while continuing to address the challenges our commonwealth faces,” said Speaker David Osborne. “Education has and will continue to be an area we focus on and I’m extremely pleased we were able to include funding for this incredible program. I look forward to seeing how it is used to strengthen the innovative learning opportunity.”

“Businesses in every sector of Kentucky’s economy need workers who have computer science skills – coding, programming, taking data and turning it into information,” Givens said.  “We must develop that talent in Kentucky, and programs like We Lead CS are going to help us get there.”

In addition to the We Lead CS curriculum, students will have the opportunity to connect with some of the largest employers in the region made possible by a partnership with the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students explore the rich IT industry in Northern Kentucky.

“To be the best, you must learn from the best. Students will be able to do just that because of this life-changing partnership,” Sells said. “Students will be connected with internships, mentors and will hear directly from industry leaders. Talk about a win-win for Kentucky students, families, businesses and the economy.”

Parents, students and school districts interested in learning more about We Lead CS can visit weleadcs.org.

We Lead CS is the state’s first-ever virtual computer science career academy for high school students throughout the state to get a jumpstart on a career in computer science. We Lead CS is set to open in the 2024-2025 academic year.