The past eight weeks have challenged all of us in more ways than we could have predicted. For LaunchCode, that has meant transitioning our community-centric courses to remote delivery, embracing a new pattern of teamwork and collaboration from our homes and adjusting to an employment landscape plagued by uncertainty. Now, as we begin to understand the severity of COVID-19’s effects, LaunchCode is taking further proactive steps to protect our mission and longevity during what many predict will be a long economic downturn.
LaunchCode has made the difficult decision to suspend operations in our Florida markets, as economic conditions and hiring challenges created by the pandemic now prevent our sustainable operation in the region.
In South Florida, where LaunchCode most recently had operations in Deerfield Beach, we have begun to wind down operations. In Tampa Bay, where we presently have a course in session, we will continue operations through the conclusion of the class in September.
I am proud of our work in Florida. LaunchCode has provided free, job-focused digital training to over 1,000 Floridians and launched nearly 300 tech careers. Beyond changing individual lives, our programs meaningfully improved the local tech ecosystems of the communities in which we worked. We’re thankful to all who supported LaunchCode’s mission and hope they’ll keep advocating for accessible career pathways for individuals who deserve them. We’re especially thankful to our Florida team members who made such an immense impact in these communities.
Notwithstanding these changes, LaunchCode is well-positioned to continue our mission of creating a skilled digital workforce. As unemployment reaches levels unseen since the Great Depression, this mission is more relevant than it has ever been. We are eager to focus our energy on reskilling driven individuals in St. Louis and Kansas City and continuing to provide talent solutions for companies transforming their existing workforces in places like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Connecticut, and the national capital region.
Recently, I’ve cited the importance of adapting our mission, not abandoning it. The decision to discontinue our work in Florida is one of the toughest I’ve made in my time as Executive Director. But I’m confident that LaunchCode’s response to the present crisis will ensure the long-term viability of the organization and empower us to carry out our mission by reaching more driven people, opening doors that had previously been closed, and creating the workforce that will engineer our post-pandemic recovery.
Jeff Mazur, LaunchCode Executive Director
///For regularly updated information on LaunchCode's COVID-19 pandemic operations updates, check here.
—For more information on LaunchCode's COVID Response in your area, check here.