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Tulsa adds new school to help prepare workforce for coming wave of tech jobs


Mayor G.T. Bynum and Holberton School- Tulsa Executive Director Libby Wuller about to cut the ribbon at the school's grand opening, March 4, 2020.{ } Bynum said the school's opening is a historic event for Tulsa. (KTUL PHOTO)
Mayor G.T. Bynum and Holberton School- Tulsa Executive Director Libby Wuller about to cut the ribbon at the school's grand opening, March 4, 2020. Bynum said the school's opening is a historic event for Tulsa. (KTUL PHOTO)
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TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- A new school opened up in Tulsa to help train the workforce for future tech jobs throughout Oklahoma.

Holberton School-Tulsa has class with no teachers. Instead, students learn through trial and error.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said this is a historic addition to the city.

“I was told we're going to need about 7,000 software engineers in the next five years in Tulsa,” said Bynum. “Well, where are those folks going to come from? So many of them are going to come from this program.”

Holberton's ribbon-cutting joins the wave of Silicon Valley-like companies setting up shop here in Green Country.

With FlipCause, a California based software group, as the latest one moving in.

Right now, executive director Libby Wuller said the city wouldn't be able to keep up.

“There's an incredible talent gap now and that's without someone like FlipCause moving to town or new companies spinning up at 36 Degrees North,” she said.

With the projected increase in new jobs, Tulsa is more attractive for businesses across the country.

Wuller said the overall cost of bringing in new companies in the city is a major selling point.

“A city that has a lower cost of living and maybe lower cost of doing business that our students would want to come to and couldn't afford to live in a place like San Francisco,” she said.

There's no application fee and no tuition payments until the student is hired as a software engineer.

Wuller said they even waive some loan payments if they get a job locally.

“We want to build systems and incentives to keep people here in our city after they have learned this really valuable skill,” she said.

This is only the third campus set up in the United States with 43 students making up the first class to go through the program here in Tulsa.

The school is now accepting applications for classes starting in June.

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