Coding academy opens economic doors for Alaskans

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) — More than 50 people from across Southcentral Alaska gathered in Wasilla Tuesday afternoon to learn the basics of coding in just four hours with instructors from Apple.

The event was the second of three free coding workshops across the state put on by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in conjunction with the Department of Education and Early Development.

"Coding is the language of technology, and so everything we do today really is driven by technology - our ability to purchase airline tickets, our opportunities to connect with our family and friends - and so coding is really a needed industry," Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter says the coding academies are meant to give interested Alaskans a chance to learn more about a field that opens up economic opportunity.

"The beautiful thing about coding is that it can be done for anywhere high speed internet access exists," Ledbetter said. "So this is a great way to allow our rural communities and those residents that live there to participate in an industry that can actually help them earn additional money and to enter into great paying jobs."

The next scheduled coding academy is in Juneau on March 21, and Ledbetter says more will be planned in the future.

"It allows them to learn that language then maybe they will become interest in this as a career field," Ledbetter said. "They may decide to open up a business that allows them to do some coding. And the wonderful thing is it can be done from anywhere, so it opens up Alaska to a global economy which we don't really have right now."