Federal tech training program looks to build on LaunchCode success

In announcing a new federal effort to train workers for high-tech jobs, President Barack Obama highlighted the work of LaunchCode, the St. Louis-based nonprofit created to train people for jobs in the tech sector.

Obama’s plan, dubbed TechHire and announced Monday, calls for $100 million in federal grants to improve training and hiring of tech workers. Twenty-one cities — including both St. Louis and Kansas City — and some 300 employers have committed to join the effort, training low-skilled workers for jobs in software development, network administration and similar fields.

TechHire seeks to duplicate and increase efforts already underway through groups such as LaunchCode, the organization founded in 2013 by St. Louis entrepreneur Jim McKelvey.

LaunchCode has placed people in apprenticeships in 10 states, including more than 130 in St. Louis. More than 90 percent of its apprenticeships turn into full-time employment.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star

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