Curtis encourages political engagement at tech tour: ‘Demand civility and reward it’

This week, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) set out on a tech tour visiting several companies in his district. 

Utah’s tech sector now accounts for more than 300,000 jobs in the state, andthe Congressman is committed to engaging and partnering with the industry to bring continued growth and success to Utah. Rep. Curtis stopped by the Silicon Slopes Headquarters, toured facilities and held townhall meetings at Podium, Bottega, Micron IM Flash, Xactware, Dell EMC, met with various key stakeholders along the way, and concluded by speaking at a family internet safety night hosted by Facebook and the National PTA.

The tech tour began with a discussion between Rep. Curtis, Clint Betts, Executive Director of Silicon Slopes, President Cydni Tetro and COO Sara Jones of Women’s Tech Council. Topics included ways Utah tech plays on a national stage, the importance of increasing STEM education in schools, ensuring women are included in the conversations, and ways tech companies can get involved civically. 

Next stop was a company-wide townhall meeting at Podium. Full video stream available here, picture here. The Congressman answered questions ranging from the Mueller Report to H1-visa caps, then praised the company and other “industry pioneers” for the countless jobs they’ve created and ways they’ve changed the landscape in Utah. Rep. Curtis also met with leadership at Podium to discuss high-skilled immigration, the importance of STEM education, creating a workplace that fosters diversity and inclusion, and more.

The Congressman continued the tour to Bottega (LINK for pictures), Micron-IM Flash (LINK), Xactware (LINK), and Dell EMC (LINK) where he toured the facilities and held townhalls meetings. Topics varied from industry related concerns such as such as recruiting women, high school, and Veteran to tech, on to general district issues such as rural broadband, clean air and water, and how to  involvement discuss alternate power sources, involving women in tech, encouraging civility and input from all sides, and ways to improve quality of life for the rural areas in the district.

To wrap up his tech tour, the Congressman spoke at a family internet safety night at Oakdale Elementary School in Cottonwood Heights hosted by Facebook and the National PTA. He discussed the merits of STEM education and the value of teaching schoolchildren to be cautious, not afraid, of the internet. Click here for picture.

The Congressman wrote an op-ed this past weekend in the Daily Herald about Utah’s tech success and the need for more “homegrown engineers,” a problem that could be remedied by an increase of STEM educational programs such as robotics clubs. Click here to read the full op-ed.