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Utah's tech industry on display at annual summit

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – About 14,000 participants are talking tech at the Salt Palace for the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2018.

The event is shining the light on the industry in Utah.

Ryan Smith, the Co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics sees big days ahead.

"Our own Amazon's here that come out of Utah, our own Google's that come out of Utah. There's a lot of work to be done, but Rome wasn't built in a day and Utah wasn't either, but I think we're pretty optimistic on where it can go," said Smith.

It's already having a major impact on our state's economy. Val Hale, the Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, or GOED, credits the industry for helping Utah climb out of the last recession.

"It's growing faster here than any other place in America. I think last year the tech industry grew at like 6% here in the state, so it's really now a very critical part of our economy," said Hale.

With the growth comes challenges. One of the biggest being recruiting.

Hale says there are thousands of high paying jobs waiting to be filled with qualified workers.

"We're doing a lot trying to get people either recruited out of state, work with our universities to train employees that can fill these jobs or just retrain people," said Hale.

Hale says the tech summit also serves as a recruiting tool by showing the rest of the country what's happening in Utah.

Friday, Governor Gary Herbert also unveiled a new Pathways program that will focus on computer science and coding in Utah high schools.

 


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