Launchcode Breaks Ground

There was a lot of celebrating happening as Jim McKelvey, founder of LaunchCode, swung his sledgehammer and “broke ground” for the construction start of Launchcode’s new Tech Center. The new facility, located at 4811 Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis, MO, signals a major turning point in St. Louis’ continuing quest to become a national force in technology and computer programming. The new 25,000 sq. ft. center features a new concept called the “Coderscape”: an interior landscape specifically designed for computer coding and programming.

LaunchCode was founded in 2013 to help people with nontraditional backgrounds find fulfilling, upwardly-mobile careers, and to help companies find skilled, new tech talent from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Millions of Americans are unemployed and many more are stuck in low-wage job cycles which leave them struggling to find livable salaries, employable skills, and a chance for advancement. American businesses also have a problem — there just isn’t enough traditional tech talent to match the growing demand. reports nearly 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide, yet only around 60,000 computer science graduates entered the workforce last year. These jobs are spread all over the economy, making products and services like your mobile phone, satellite television, and online searches just…work.

Back in 2013, Square’s Jim McKelvey founded LaunchCode to address these problems. Jim had experienced the lack of talent firsthand while trying to build a development shop for his new company Square in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. Eventually Jim moved Square to California for access to skilled workers, but knew there must be some way to connect the city’s rising unemployment with its shortage of tech talent. And so, LaunchCode was born. – LaunchCode’s website

LaunchCode’s new Tech Center literally “reaches out” to Delmar Blvd, making a symbolic gesture of unity on a street that has long been a source of division in the St. Louis community.
Jeff Mazur, LaunchCode’s Executive Director, on the large screen describing the project.
Jim McKelvey, LaunchCode’s founder.
LaunchCode’s entry and reception desk with their logo cut out of plywood fins.
Jim McKelvey ready to take the first swing to officially begin demolition.
LaunchCode’s “reach” across the Delmar “divide” is also a roof terrace for the staff and students to enjoy and use for outdoor learning.