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12/09/2020 Press Release

Create Opportunity's workforce development initiative launches with Midlands Technical College

Public-private partnership formed to develop pipeline of in-demand software engineers through screening, training, and employment.

Create Opportunity believes that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. The initiative exists to create opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds to become professional software engineers - supporting the needs of Midlands employers and the growth of our region.

Participants enter the program through an aptitude-based screening that identifies an individual's ability to become a successful software engineer. No prior knowledge, educational background, or experience is required. Individuals engage in an intense, six-month training followed by a two-year, paid software development apprenticeship with local employers.

Midlands Technical College (MTC) is the program partner for the 26-week training that prepares participants for the two -year apprenticeship. "We are pleased about the impact this will have on our region's economy," said Dr. Ron Rhames, President of Midlands Technical College. "MTC is proud to be a part of this effort to grow the software engineering workforce that the Midlands community needs in order to be competitive."

The partnership is shared with Catalyte, which provides the talent transformation platform for the initial screening, technology infrastructure, curriculum, and data to drive the program. Catalyte is based in Baltimore and has two decades of experience in developing software engineering talent in cities like Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix-Scottsdale and Portland, OR.

"We know that there is a wellspring of untapped technology talent in the Midlands region," said Jacob Hsu, CEO of Catalyte. " With our talent transformation technology, combined with the knowledge, expertise and reach of trusted, local partners, we know that we can do here in Columbia what we have across the country for 20 years: produce high-potential developers, from any background, who will help local businesses and government agencies shine on the national and international stages."

The City of Columbia and Richland County are providing funding for the program. Create Opportunity's mission aligns with local economic development objectives by fueling the growth of existing employers and the recruitment of new employers to the region with a capable technology workforce.

"The City of Columbia is excited about the opportunities this program brings to our citizens and for economic growth in the region. Building a sustainable pipeline of local, motivated, and diverse software engineers provides a competitive advantage to attracting and retaining employers in the area," said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

"Richland County is committed to fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities for our citizens and employers. We are excited to have Create Opportunity as a community partner to further those values and benefit the region's technology sector," said Paul Livingston, Richland County Council Chair.

ABOUT Create Opportunity:

Developed from the belief that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not, Create Opportunity is a public private partnership focused on inclusive efforts to cultivate talent and strengthen employers. By identifying and screening potential candidates, providing applicable training, and matching employers and employees, Create Opportunity is reimagining the talent pipeline in the Midlands. For more information on screening registration, or how Create Opportunity can benefit your organization, please visit our website at


Catalyte produces technology talent others can't. Its Odyssey talent transformation platform finds, trains, and advances new software developers from unexpected backgrounds, closing the talent gap and producing sustainable and diverse technology workforces. Its Surge division provides on-demand access to exceptional software engineers, allowing clients to flexibly scale technology resources when and how they need them. Catalyte operates development and training centers in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix-Scottsdale and Portland, Ore. For more information, visit


Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a six-campus, two-year comprehensive community college serving Richland, Lexington, and Fairfield counties in South Carolina. The college provides higher education opportunities that stimulate the local economy by generating a world-class workforce and enhancing the social vitality of the community. Learn more at MIDLANDSTECH.EDU.