Due to the significant need in Washington state for highly-skilled technology workers capable of meeting the demands of the 21st century, today state Reps. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, and Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, are partnering with Washington students to participate in the “Hour of Code,” a week-long national event that promotes computer science education.
Hour of Code is organized by the nonprofit Code.org. From Dec. 8 through Dec. 12, it encourages students to learn computer coding for at least one hour. Schools across Washington are participating this week – click here for the full list.
Reps. Hansen and Magendanz have been working for several years on bipartisan solutions to the state’s computer science professional shortage, beginning with the successful passage in 2013 of HB 1472, expanding AP computer science in Washington high schools. They plan to introduce additional legislation in 2015 to improve computer science education standards, expand professional development for educators who want to teach computer science, and expand the state’s top computer science degree programs.
“Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Avalara, and others are creating computer science jobs faster than our state is producing trained graduates.” said Hansen. “The Hour of Code is a great way to get kids fired up about coding so they think about going deeper into computer science in college and beyond.”
According to Code.org there more than 20,000 open computing jobs in Washington, but less than 800 computer science majors are graduating per year from state colleges and universities.
“When you look at the numbers, it’s pretty simple – lots of available good-paying jobs, and not enough people to fill them,” said Magendanz, the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee. “Our goal is to revamp Washington’s K-12 system so we’re offering every child better opportunities for computer science learning.”
Rep. Hansen – Travis Shofner, Communications Specialist – (360) 786-7224
Rep. Magendanz – Mary Strow, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7761