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Create Opportunity:


Create Opportunity Columbia is an initiative that increases the supply of high-demand software engineers through an assessment, training and apprenticeship model designed for individuals from diverse, non-technical backgrounds.

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Press Release

Create Opportunity Columbia’s workforce development initiative launches with Midlands Technical College

Training Partner

Midlands Technical College is a comprehensive, public, 2-year college. MTC serves more than 28,000 students annually - 14,000 through its traditional academic program, and 14,000 through its corporate and continuing education activities. Midlands Tech will deliver the training and apprenticeship components of Create Opportunity Columbia.

Talent Development Platform Partner

Catalyte ( believes talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Catalyte is headquartered in Baltimore, MD, and has offices in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix-Scottsdale and Portland, Ore. With a 20-year track record of methodically developing local software engineering talent, Catalyte's Odyssey talent development platform is uniquely positioned to support this initiative. Catalyte will provide the talent development platform that guides the screening, training curriculum, apprenticeship delivery, and coaching model that Create Opportunity Columbia is built upon.

Managing Partner

Create Opportunity is an economic and community development entity that focuses on inclusive efforts to develop talent and strengthen employers. Create Opportunity will lead the Create Opportunity Columbia initiative, having primary responsibility for funding, employer engagement, and community development.


How it works

  • 1

    Source Talent

    Create Opportunity will source local talent from the general population across all backgrounds.

  • 2

    Talent Screening

    Leveraging Catalyte's proven screening model, centered around a web-based screening that takes candidates with the aptitude to become software engineers and gives them the opportunity to enter training.

  • 3


    A flexible, remote-enabled training program has seven modules that give trainees the robust foundation they need to become accomplished software engineers. Their training and apprenticeship journeys will be delivered by Midlands Technical College and supported by Odyssey, Catalyte's proprietary talent development platform.

  • 4


    Employers will hire training graduates to complete a structured, two-year apprenticeship to build upon the skills and practices learned in training through precision coaching and data-driven performance evaluation.

  • 5

    Career and Community

    Upon finishing their apprenticeships, the graduates will join the ranks of highly-skilled software engineers. Ensuring that apprentices become successful software engineers that propel our region and the employers in our region is central to our mission. To do this, we will foster connectivity among alumni, active program participants, coaches, trainers, and employers.

Training Program

Throughout training, all performance, scrum data, and activities are tracked in Odyssey, Catalyte's proprietary workforce training platform, ensuring thoughtful benchmarking and tailored coaching guides the successful engagement of each trainee.

Training Module

Development Basics and Front End

Max Length: 5 weeks

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Source Control
  • Form Validation project
Training Module

Intermediate Programming

Max Length: 3 weeks

  • Java / OOP
  • Java Collections
  • Unit Testing
  • Exceptions
  • Dependency Management
  • Intermediate Logic project
Training Module


Max Length: 2 weeks

  • PostgreSQL / Relational databases
  • Database design
  • SQL / Querying
  • PostgreSQL project
Training Module

Web Servers

Max Length: 6 weeks

  • Layered Architecture
  • Spring Boot
  • Swagger
  • Authentication / Authorization
  • Rest API project
Training Module

Front End Frameworks (React)

Max Length: 6 weeks

  • React
  • NPM
  • Asynchronous programming
  • Linting
  • React project
Training Module


Max Length: 4 weeks

  • Scrum basics
  • Sprints
  • Demonstrations
  • Retrospectives
  • Full Stack Scrum Project
Training Module

Final Project

Max Length: 2 weeks

Over two weeks, trainees will develop a full stack application with technical and non-technical requirements that utilizes all technologies in the previous modules. The project is then reviewed and scored.

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Individuals that successfully complete the apprenticeship emerge as qualified software engineers ready to work in an enterprise development environment. At this point, the engineer's salary should be equivalent to market rate for a mid-level developer with 2-3 years of experience, and they should be highly upwardly mobile.

Professional Community

Create Opportunity endeavors to maximize community attachment, strengthen long-term professional development opportunities for program graduates, and will foster a healthy and vibrant community of software engineers in the region.

City, Region, and State

Create Opportunity Columbia will increase the supply of high-demand software engineers in our region and support local economic development by fueling the growth of existing employers and the recruitment of new employers to the region with a capable technology workforce.