Tech summit highlights Utah's Silicon Slopes

Tech summit highlights Utah's Silicon Slopes


Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — Developing more home-grown talent is a major concern for Utah business and technology leaders gathered at a two-day summit at the Salt Palace.

“We have to get more into our high schools and into our colleges to create the skills that we need in this state,” said Cydni Tetro, co-founder and executive director of Women Tech Council, at Thursday's opening of the inaugural Silicon Slopes Tech Summit.

With about 5,000 tech companies in Utah, and more created each year, the need for qualified, educated talent is constantly growing, Silicon Slopes executive board member Carine Clark said. The tech industry needs to help develop a statewide program that can cultivate and inspire more young people to choose careers in technology, she said.

Other speakers agreed.

“We need the entire gamut of people in the industry,” Tetro said. “We need Ph.Ds, but we also need people who just take coding curriculum.”

Thousands of the business and technology leaders gathered for the two-day networking event, which was organized by the executive board of directors of Silicon Slopes and Beehive Startups to engage members of the local tech community in an ongoing effort to raise the level of prosperity for people all over Utah.

"It's really meant to be a networking event where people can get to know each other and shore up the (Utah tech) ecosystem," Clark said. "When we all do well, it raises the boats for everyone."

She said the current upward trend for Utah's technology sector has created a healthy, vibrant atmosphere for entrepreneurship and innovation that is among the strongest in the nation.

“We have a lot of different types of companies that are growing very rapidly,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place to invest, a wonderful place for young people to do internships and a wonderful place to work.”

Connecting goals

The conference included numerous speakers, workshops and networking sessions. For attendees, the event also provided opportunities to connect their organizational goals with the aims of the local tech community.

“Tech is the future of our work readiness,” said Christy Tribe, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Utah, a nonprofit organization that educates students in work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. “If we don’t get our kids exposed to and excited about tech careers early, then we will not have the future workforce in Utah to fill the jobs of the future.”

“If we don’t get our kids exposed to and excited about tech careers early, then we will not have the future workforce in Utah to fill the jobs of the future.” - Christy Tribe, Junior Achievement of Utah

Tetro said local leaders should work at creating various pathways for students to enter into tech careers rather than just strictly traditional methods. She suggested making computer science a required curriculum like math, English and traditional sciences such as chemistry or biology.

“Industry has to step into the mix as well,” Tetro said. “We have to help education get there. They are not going to get there on their own.”

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Jasen Lee


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast