Computer science in every Utah classroom

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The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association, has convened some of Utah’s major employers from industries including aerospace, manufacturing, technology and more, to advocate for robust computer science education in every Utah classroom. During a press conference at the State Capitol Tuesday morning, the Chamber reinforced its support for H.B. 227, Utah Computer Science Grant Act.

“Looking across Utah’s economy, one common denominator between all industries is technology. No matter the industry, no matter the job, technology is and will continue to be the driving force of our economy,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “This is why computer science education is rightfully at the forefront of business leaders’ minds as they grapple with how to best prepare our future workforce. In order to compete in our ever-evolving technological world, Utah’s students must be equipped with the computing skills and digital knowledge to be successful in any future career.”

H.B. 227, sponsored by Rep. John Knotwell and Sen. Ann Millner, will allow professional development grants to be awarded to local school districts that help train teachers in computer science as well as implement the recommendations from the Utah State Board of Education’s Computer Science Task Force into existing curriculum. This includes everything from advanced placement computer science courses all the way down to kindergarten and first-grade coding basics.

“In order for our nation to maintain its technological superiority we must invest here at home in developing a highly-skilled workforce, especially in STEM-related fields,” said Dan Gelston,

president of broadband communications sector at L3 Technologies. “We have a strong network of universities here in the state, but our nation and our state can and should do more to provide youth greater access to computer science training, as early as elementary school, and certainly during their middle and high schools years.”

“The world of manufacturing is becoming increasingly focused on technology and automation and our need for employees who have these skills will be critical to the future of our company and our entire state’s economy,” said Laura Bogusch, general manager of Boeing Salt Lake. “We are pleased to be joining with the Salt Lake Chamber and Utah’s business community in calling for computer science education for every Utah student and we applaud Representative Knotwell and Senator Millner for sponsoring this important piece of legislation.”

To learn more about H.B. 227, Utah Computer Science Grant Act, click here.