In the fall of 2017, Innovate Mississippi launched the Mississippi Coding Academies as part of an economic development and educational initiative. We discovered there are 1200 open computer software positions in Mississippi and fewer than 300 computer science graduates in the state, creating an employment gap. Following inspiration from Base Camp Coding Academy in Water Valley, Ms, we launched our first two Coding Academies in Jackson and the Golden Triangle area with a current enrollment of 29. The goal is to respond to the employment gap while also creating an opportunity for Mississippi students, particularly the under-served population. We are targeting high-school graduates not on a college path to participate in an 11-month, tuition-free, immersive and intensive computer coding training course which also includes professional development (soft-skills) training. Each class has 2 instructors, one with industry-coding experience and the other with classroom teaching experience. The curriculum is 100% employer driven to ensure we are training our coders in the most industry current coding languages in use today and increasing their job-readiness upon graduation. In addition, we are working with IT Employers in Mississippi to connect our coders with job-shadowing, internships and employment opportunities upon graduation. We are expanding the classes starting in June to offer more students this life-changing opportunity, but we need funding to make that happen. We have initial seed-funding through multiple public resources, but need solid support from both the private and public sector, as well as other resources, to create a sustainable program. We are at a critical juncture and would greatly appreciate your support!