Former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has joined LaunchCode as a strategic advisor, according to a news release from the St. Louis-based coder education program.
Carnahan, the Democratic secretary of state from 2005 to 2013, joins LaunchCode as it seeks to grow into a nationwide operation in 2015. LaunchCode has already formed relationships with edX, Harvard and MIT’s open source online education platform, to offer free mentoring and support for aspiring developers, as well as Coder Girl, a meet-up group for female coders.
“LaunchCode is solving a fundamental problem in our economy by opening doors for a new generation of programmers and bridging the talent gap in the fastest growing industry in the country,” Carnahan said in the release. “I look forward to helping to LaunchCode meet the need for new tech talent nationwide.”
Jim McKelvey, co-founder of mobile payments company Square and a native St. Louisan, started LaunchCode in 2013 to help teach aspiring computer programmers through apprenticeships with St. Louis companies.
Since then, applicants have been placed with large companies like Anheuser-Busch and small startups like TrakBill. LaunchCode says that more than 90 percent of its nearly 100 placements so far have turned into full-time employment.
In a recent interview with Missouri Business Alert, McKelvey said that LaunchCode will expand to Miami in the fall.
Carnahan is also a senior director at the D.C.-based global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge and a senior fellow at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.