Learning these computing skills will not only put children ahead of the game very early on, but will also provide them with necessary life skills, such as learning to work as a team and solve problems using critical thinking. “Coding has become such a necessary skills that TEA has made it very clear that it is considered a foreign language,” says Valverde. “If the state of Texas thinks it is an important skill, we think it’s very important to start planting that skill very early on.”
The Code the Town program is not only about preparing Mission residents with skills that are marketable to the technology industry. The goal is to create a culture of forward-thinking, creativity, and thinking outside the box. Mission EDC hopes that as a result, residents will apply their knowledge towards developing startups and technology-focused businesses. The organization is a big supporter of entrepreneurship and offers other programs, such as Ruby Red Ventures, that help Mission residents obtain funding to start their own business.
Over the past years, Mission has transformed from a small, agricultural town to a city booming with growth and new businesses. WalletHub named Mission the fastest growing city from an analysis of 516 U.S. cities using 10 key metrics ranging from population growth rate to unemployment rate decrease. It was also the second city with the highest income growth. All of this has been possible because of the vision and commitment of Mission EDC and the city’s leaders to identify opportunities for the city to grow and develop initiatives that support entrepreneurship. With Code the Town, these leaders will provide the resources for the city to take part in this 500 billion dollar opportunity. “Many assume that with the rapid evolution and increased use of technology, raising the level of digital literacy in a community is effortless,” says Susan Valverde. “It only seems that way when a community takes the time to plan, stays focused, and invests in the appropriate resources. We are proud to be a part of this effort and applaud Mission EDC and the City of Mission for having the foresight and leading the region in this effort.”