CFC Properties and Smithville Communications Sign on as Code School Partners

CodeSchool_Horiz_LogoBloomington, Indiana (June 3, 2014) – The Bloomington Technology Partnership (BTP), an initiative of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), has announced a new program that will teach computer coding skills to Monroe County residents at no cost. Bloomington Code School will open on June 23rd offering evening classes led by mentors from local tech companies. Community partners CFC Properties and Smithville Communications are donating space and broadband to the effort.

“The code school would not be possible without the tremendous support of our community partners. This is a new workforce initiative that will meet the needs of local employers immediately,” says Katie Birge, Director of the Bloomington Technology Partnership. “Our goal is for participants to be career-ready upon completion of the three-month program, with additional opportunities for future project-based work,” Birge adds.

Bloomington Code School will use course curriculum from Treehouse, an online interactive code learning platform that teaches web and app development and design. Recently, the Bloomington Technology Partnership announced an agreement with Monroe County Public Library to provide access to Treehouse at no cost to all residents with a Monroe County library card. Initial courses at Bloomington Code School will be in Front End Web Development, Web Design, PHP Development and Rails Development.

The code school is made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. “The Community Foundation is pleased to partner with the BEDC and BTP to become one of only a handful of communities in the country to approach workforce training in the tech arena on a community-wide basis,” says Tina Peterson, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. “It’s great for our tech employers, and it’s great for our workforce. What a win for the Bloomington community,” she adds.

CFC Properties, a Bloomington-based property management and development company, has donated to the school a recently renovated space designed for high-tech companies in the historic Wicks building downtown at 116 W 6th Street. Jim Murphy, President of CFC Properties states, “This partnership is a win, win, win for not only Bloomington and the BTP, but most importantly for those individuals who will benefit directly by attending and improving their skills at the Code School. The learned skills will better prepare the students for future employment in Bloomington, including the proposed Certified Tech Park.” Leading telecommunications provider Smithville Communications is providing complimentary high-speed broadband access to the code school for the duration of the pilot program. “Smithville is happy to provide broadband to the Bloomington Code School to further the growth of Monroe County’s tech sector and future employment,” said Darby McCarty, President and CEO of Smithville Communications.

Additional information including a schedule of courses and a link to apply can be found at http://bloomingtontech.com/bloomington-code-school/. Mentoring opportunities are still available. For more details, please contact kbirge@bloomingtontech.com.

About the Bloomington Technology Partnership

The Bloomington Technology Partnership fosters the growth of Bloomington’s emerging high-tech economy. The BTP is a public-private initiative funded by the City of Bloomington, the Indiana University Office of Engagement and the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). The BTP strengthens Bloomington’s tech economy through talent recruitment, networking opportunities, and technical assistance. For more information, visit http://bloomingtontech.com.

About CFC Properties

For 40 years, CFC Properties has been a leader in the historic restoration, promotion and revitalization of downtown Bloomington. This includes the city’s largest bed and breakfast, the Grant Street Inn. CFC also recently expanded to Canton, Illinois, hometown of former President and CEO of Cook Group, Bill Cook. For more information, visit www.cfcproperties.com.

About Smithville Communications

Founded nearly 90 years, Smithville Communications is now Indiana’s largest independent telecom company. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana. Its subsidiary Smithville Telecom provides fiber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and managed services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers and government offices in southern and other parts of Indiana. For more information, please visit http://smithville.net.

About the Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County

The Community Foundation knows that vitality can come from all corners of our community. They make grants, offer expertise and lead in collaboration with others to meet the community’s most pressing needs and seize its most compelling opportunities. From early childhood development to aging, from basic needs to economic development, from arts to the environment, donors fuel innovative ideas and power lasting impact for our community. In its first 25 years, the Community Foundation has granted $20 million to more than 379 local nonprofit organizations. Our $25 million endowment is growing, and so is the difference made by connecting caring people, important causes and community resources.

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