Wish I had a dollar for every time I hear: What we really need are more high tech jobs.
Certainly, I agree with the statement. The Technology Sector, while sometimes hard to define, is an important part of our national economy. Capitalizing on that is a key component to any economic development plan. And we have work to do.
The numbers for tech related jobs in the Cape Metro for the five year period 2012 – 2017 aren’t good. Data shows us employment in certain technology sectors dropped from about 550 in 2012 to 510 in 2017. This was likely caused by several factors but one of the primary ones is available talent.
So, you ask, is there any good news - absolutely. First, those jobs carry an average annual salary of more than $75,000. Next, there is evidence and reason to believe the trend is turning in the right direction. The success of Codefi in downtown Cape is clear. The Marquette Tech District is recognized locally, and in a multi-state area, as a great anchor to an entrepreneurial and technological revival. New jobs are being created and the addition of the University’s Catapult insures students’ future interest.
To address the talent issue head on, the Chamber is playing a small role in helping the team at Codefi with Code Cape and now Code Labs One – training classes to develop local coding talent. Graduates are finding work and the pipeline is strong.
We are committed, making progress, and looking forward to technology opportunities in the Cape Metro.