South Bend Code School expands to Fort Wayne, Goshen

CBRE released their 2017 Scoring Tech Talent report last week, which helps companies see the most and least expensive cities as potential locations for their technology company. The report exclaims that Indianapolis’ tech talent is of very high quality and labor costs are considered low. The least costly city is Vancouver, followed by Toronto, Indianapolis, Pittsburg, and Detroit.

CBRE gives a great analysis of the current state of Indianapolis and tech, but what about the future of our emerging tech hub? How will we continue to fill the talent pipeline with qualified, homegrown tech talent?

The South Bend Code School realizes the need to help our youth see tech as a viable career option.

Founded in 2015, the South Bend Code School helps eliminate the barriers between youth and technology. Students ages 7-18 learn the fundamentals of web development and design, software craftsmanship, and entrepreneurship. The curriculum grants students experience conceptualizing, designing and building applications that works towards solving real-world problems. Age-appropriate courses ranging from an introduction to web development to programming to game design are offered in three cycles throughout the year. After students complete introductory courses, they are eligible to join Code Legion, an alumni program that is designed to continue their tech and career development in a fun, collaborative environment.

Since its inception, over 100 students in northern Indiana have completed the school’s formal program and over 600 students have been reached through its expanded outreach efforts. Over 120 websites have been built by students in South Bend Code School programs and students receiving education have been 47 percent female and 56 percent under-represented, minority students.

Just last week, the school announced their expansion to Fort Wayne, Ind. and Goshen, Ind., with a commitment to offer classes and programming in those locations.

Developed in partnership with Start Fort Wayne and Downtown Goshen, Inc., the new locations are now enrolling students for the school’s “Jumpstart Web Development” course, designed for ages 13-18. In Goshen, additional support is provided by the Goshen Chamber, where the classes will be held.

South Bend Code School co-founder Alex Liggins wrote a post on Medium to explain the expansion and help parents and kids see why coding is a valuable skill to learn even if being a developer isn’t what your dream job.

“Whichever path a student chooses to travel, coding (and technology as a whole) helps to bring thought to reality. We tell students, code is what you use to build your imagination. If you think of a solution to a problem, you can build it,” said Liggins in her Medium post. If you think of a website, you can write it. If you think of a game you can make it. The list goes on. That is why coding is a powerful tool, and that is why we look forward to continuing to expand our program to other rust belt cities.”

Increasing opportunities for women and girls to get involved in tech is also an objective of the South Bend Code School, though the school is not gender specific. In this short video, three girls explain why they chose to join the school, what they thought it would be like and what it means to their career path.

The school’s expansion news was also featured on Inside INdiana Business and has an audio interview with co-founder Alex Liggins.

Fall classes in the company’s South Bend location will be held in classroom space in the building 113 of the Studebaker redevelopment in the Renaissance District. To enroll in fall classes in all locations, visit southbendcodeschool.com. To join the mailing list for Fort Wayne or Goshen fall programming information, please email info@southbendcodeschool.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Croft is the director of communications at TechPoint. She writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people and events. Reach out to Sara @saraelysecroft.