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LaunchCode Partnership Produces Techies for Express Scripts

October 19, 2017 | Express Scripts

Earlier this year, leaders on our technology teams recognized an immediate hiring need at our St. Louis headquarters: Pega developers. But the problem was programmers proficient in that platform were in short supply. Fortunately, St. Louis is the headquarters of LaunchCode, an innovative nonprofit that provides learning resources and job opportunities to students in the technology field at zero charge.

LaunchCode worked quickly to develop a joint program with us and immediately identified 40 of the best Java programmers who had recently graduated from one of their basic coding classes. Leaders on our tech team evaluated all 40 candidates and then selected 24 to begin LaunchCode’s Pega training.

To help with these candidates’ training, LaunchCode pulled in Pegasystems Inc., which sent instructors to St. Louis for an eight-day Pega training session. During this time, LaunchCode also taught the students strategies to help them in the corporate world, providing insights on topics such as email best practices, phone conferences and even how to work on two monitors instead of a laptop screen.

Of the 24 students selected to take the Pega training, twenty-three completed the course, and were hired onto our technology teams as paid apprentices. During this time, each apprentice was paired with a programming partner to help them navigate their day-to-day work life and a buddy to answer basic questions, as simple as how to find the company gym. All but two were offered full-time jobs when their 90-day apprenticeships ended in July.

The success of the St. Louis program has led us to expand our partnership with LaunchCode to our New Jersey office, where 10 candidates recently completed LaunchCode’s Pega training and 17 learned to use COBOL. All 27 of these candidates began their 90-day paid apprenticeships in early August at the Franklin Lakes, NJ office.

To learn more about our partnership with LaunchCode and hear from one of the apprentices we hired on full-time, click here!


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