Former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has joined LaunchCode as a strategic advisor.
Jim McKelvey founded St. Louis-based LaunchCode last year to increase the amount of computer programming talent in the region. McKelvey owns Third Degree Glass Factory and is the co-founder of credit card payment processor Square.
Since its inception, LaunchCode has placed developers in nearly 100 apprenticeships with startups and companies including Anheuser-Busch, MasterCard, and Enterprise Holdings. According to LaunchCode, more than 90 percent of its apprenticeships resulted in full-time employment.
“LaunchCode is really two things: It’s the best way for a programmer to get a programming job and it’s the best way for a company to attract new talent,” McKelvey said in a statement. “With Robin joining our strong core team, we’re able to broadcast the message to any aspiring developer: If you put in the work, we can connect you to a real opportunity to land a great programming job."
Carnahan, a Democrat, was Missouri's secretary of state from 2005 to 2013. She's now 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.
Carnahan's appointment comes as LaunchCode is seeking to expand from a mostly volunteer run organization to a nationwide operation next year.
“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 a statement. “I look forward to helping to LaunchCode meet the need for new tech talent nationwide.”