Create Opportunity Workforce Development Initiative Launches First Cohort

Create Opportunity, a workforce development initiative that believes talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not, launched its first cohort now enrolled at Midlands Technical College. The participants are on their way to becoming fully employed software engineers upon the completion of the course in late August, followed by a two-year paid apprenticeship with full benefits.

Create Opportunity exists to provide access to opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds to become professional software engineers – supporting the needs of Midlands employers and the growth of the region. Participants enter the Create Opportunity program through an aptitude-based screening that identifies an individual's ability to become a successful software engineer. No prior knowledge, educational background, or technical experience is required. Individuals engage in a free, full time, six-month training at Midlands Technical College (MTC), followed by a two-year, paid software development apprenticeship with local employers.

As a program partner, MTC guides participants through a 6-week training that prepares them 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."

Create Opportunity is also supported through a partnership with Catalyte, a workforce data science company, 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."

Create Opportunity is excited to engage citizens in the Midlands to support the program’s inception. The 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. Find out more by visiting

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 ( 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 an 20-year track record of methodically developing local software engineering talent, Catalyte’s Odyssey workforce 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.

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.

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