HCPS High Schoolers to Tour Tech at Asheville Business Incubators

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2018) – Next week, the local “Community of Code” project supported by state grants will take 80 Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) high school students to Focal Point Coworking and The Collider – Asheville-based businesses supporting solutions-driven entrepreneurs.

The Nov. 28 field trip is part of a collaborative effort among HCPS, Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC), and local business and industry partners to increase opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers as software and web developers.

The “Community of Code” partnership was established in August 2018, after HCPS received $40,000 through the N.C. General Assembly’s Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program, which support partnerships with local businesses to help schools develop computer science, coding and mobile app development programs for middle and high school students.

Organized by Kristy Lapidus, founder of local business and technology management consulting firm Corvo Consulting Group, the trip will introduce students enrolled in Career & Technical Education courses to the abundance of technology careers in Western North Carolina. Lapidus, along with Dr. Wendy Frye, HCPS director of high schools, and teachers Tracy Queen and Hannah De La Riva co-developed the curriculum to include technical and people skills that will prepare students for the complexity of the modern workplace.

“Nurturing tech talent in Western North Carolina is of critical importance to the vitality of our region,” said Josh Dorfman, CEO of The Collider. “We’re thrilled to welcome the Henderson County students participating in “Community of Code” to The Collider to share our mission and discuss the expanding opportunities within our own community for those with coding skills to do interesting and important work that pays well.”

While at Focal Point, students will hear from founder Alison Pages; Chris Filipiak, a business development consultant in the technology strategy field; and Tracy Schmidt, an Agile Software Development Product Owner and active leader in the WNC technology community.

The field trip is a highlight for the students in a year-long program that includes: an individual project in which students design and build a custom business application on the FileMaker platform; instruction in 21st Century skills as exemplified in the Modern Agile framework; a hackathon in the spring; and “lunch ‘n learns” with local technology experts.

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