MATTOON -- The Lake Land College Board of Trustees recently approved a unique agreement with LaunchCode, an innovative non-profit providing job seekers opportunities to enter the technology field, to offer a short-term computer development program.

According to a press release, LaunchCode trains students in the high demand field of app development at locations in St. Louis, south Florida, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Seattle and Portland. Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square, the payments processing company, founded LaunchCode to create pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology.

“LaunchCode is excited about the chance to open doors for aspiring technologists at Lake Land College,” said LaunchCode Executive Director Jeff Mazur. “Students enrolled in the program will learn the core skills and training that many companies desperately need, creating a pipeline to new talent, which benefits the entire community.”

Through the partnership, Lake Land College will offer the LaunchCode Academy in an 18-week format in the evenings at the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham.

Lake Land board Chair Dave Storm said the LaunchCode Academy at Lake Land College demonstrates the board’s commitment to create state-of-the-art educational opportunities for students.

“We understand students are interested in options to improve their workforce skills in short-term and/or unique delivery modes. This academy is just one of our plans to provide training to students in an innovative format that allows them to pursue their educational goals while maintaining their personal and professional commitments,” Storm said.

Students will learn in-demand programming languages and gain skills to obtain an apprenticeship and career in the technology field working in positions such as software developers, mobile developers, business intelligence and quality assurance analysts. Graduates will earn a Lake Land College certificate and credits that can be applied to an associate degree in IT-Web Technology.

“This partnership is the first of its kind. LaunchCoders have found success at more than 500 companies nationwide such as Express Scripts, Mastercard, Square, Boeing and Charter Communications. Students who complete this program will have the skills to secure coding work locally, advance their entrepreneurial skills as a freelance coder or work remotely from home,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.

Chair Storm said the college is pleased to have the support of The Effingham Regional Growth Alliance, the countywide economic development organization. The Alliance will be seeking local companies and individuals who are interested in supporting students with scholarships or internship opportunities.

Informational sessions and details on class dates will be announced in early 2018.

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