The South Carolina Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation, in collaboration with Build Carolina, announced the expansion of SC Codes, a statewide program designed to provide free access to coding education for all residents.
Announced in 2018 and officially launched earlier this year, SC Codes is a first-of-its-kind, state-funded resource, aiming to connect South Carolinians to the education and resources they need to unlock careers in technology. The program provides free online coding curriculum, as well as mentoring services, to all South Carolina residents through a web platform.
"The continued development of the state's digital workforce is critical to ensuring future economic prosperity," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "SC Codes increases digital literacy skills across the state's entire workforce, allowing South Carolinians to obtain higher-paying jobs and strengthening the economy."
To date, more than 5,300 South Carolinians have registered on the platform and completed 1,500 lessons. The expansion will include growing the number of host sites and partners across the state, adding course content, increasing the number of participants and exploring plans for certifications and apprenticeships.
SC Codes is available to any resident with access to the internet; interested participants can enroll in beginner to advanced curriculum, specifically designed with the demands of the state's industries in mind. Additionally, cohort-style and classroom-led sessions are available through 16 local site partners. Those interested in becoming a student, a mentor or a community partner can find more information at www.sccodes.org.
"We could never have anticipated the response we've had in support of SC Codes from every corner of our state," said Executive Director of Build Carolina Lelia King. "SC Codes is primed to level the playing field for our workforce by removing barriers and increasing access to high-quality coding education. Our expanded partnership with the S.C. Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation will allow us to build upon the great work that has already begun."
Including more than 7,400 tech businesses, South Carolina's tech sector continues to grow, and opportunities for individuals entering the workforce with this type of training are vast. Employment in the state's technology industry represented the 7th highest year-over-year net employment growth in the U.S. last year, with a $12.6 billion contribution to South Carolina's economy, according to Cyberstates™ 2019, an analysis published by CompTIA.