15 Jan LaunchCode looks to increase diversity in St. Louis’ tech sector
LaunchCode is partnering with Chicago-based BLUE1647 to promote diversity in the tech industry by training underserved youth in St. Louis.
LaunchCode is the St. Louis-based organization pairing budding computer programmers with jobs at established companies.
BLUE1647 is an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center focused on professional development, workforce development, business acceleration and economic development in technology skills.
A 10,000 square-foot building, called BLUE1647 St. Louis, is expected to open in March near the Delmar Loop, according to ChicagoInno.com.
LaunchCode Managing Director Brendan Lind said LaunchCode officials reached out to BLUE1647, founded in 2013, around the same time civic unrest unfolded in the Ferguson area following the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown.
LaunchCode’s overall mission is to create pathways to employment for non-traditional IT professionals — those who just picked up the skills or those without a traditional degree.
“But beyond that, we’re looking to partner with anyone to build infrastructure that provides inclusion for as many people as possible, particularly those people from low opportunity backgrounds,” Lind said.
BLUE1647 CEO Emile Cambry said he’s looking to change the narrative in the city of St. Louis.
“This is really an opportunity to stimulate the local economy,” he told ChicagoInno.com. “It’s going to be a powerful opportunity for the city.”
In St. Louis, BLUE1647, according to the article, hopes to work with roughly 1,000 students per quarter, helping people get the skills to find jobs in technology.
Brian Feldt – Reporter
St. Louis Business Journal