INDIANAPOLIS - The founder and president of Eleven Fifty Academy says the opening of the coding school's downtown Indianapolis headquarters signifies more growth throughout the state. The nonprofit coding academy cut the ribbon Monday on its new location near the Indiana Statehouse, which is the result of a $5 million investment. The school has primarily operated out of Fishers during its first five years and Scott Jones says it will maintain a presence in the Hamilton County city.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Jones said Eleven Fifty has ambitious plans to boost its statewide presence.

"In the next six to 12 months, we are opening up about a half dozen offices in different cities around Indiana, including Fort Wayne and Evansville," said Jones. "Hopefully, we'll be turning up something at Westgate near Crane. We're having discussions in areas like Gary and Muncie, Terre Haute and other cities. We've had about 350 graduates during our five-year history; about half of those have come through in the last year. We expect to have over 2,000 graduates in the state here in the coming 18 months and downtown Indianapolis will be the hub, the headquarters for this statewide program of Eleven Fifty Academy." 

Jones says the goal of the academy's expansion is to continue to address the state's tech talent gap at a rapid pace.

"It's not just the jobs. These are careers; we're launching careers here in Indiana. When we compare ourselves to the coasts, we're underperforming in about half of the coastal states in terms of talent development and technology areas and Eleven Fifty Academy is a solution to that where we can very quickly product thousands of graduates in these tech fields, which we think will help the companies that are here today and attract new ones."

Jones says Eleven Fifty is seeing a more than 90% graduation rate with those graduates being placed into jobs paying $70,000-$80,000 per year to start. He says the academy's graduate rates, placement rates and starting salaries are outperforming anything he can find both in Indiana and throughout the country.