As technology professionals, the workings of government are often far from our daily thoughts. Unlike biotech, information technology is not highly regulated and many who work in tech occupations prefer to keep their distance lest government interfere. We learned a truism with last year’s tech tax debacle: policy will get made regardless of whether affected groups are at the table. At the end of the day, our public officials will make their best judgments about how to spend some $36 billion and it’s our responsibility to be sure that the tech perspective is considered.
At MassTLC, we’ve set out to engage the public and private sector in a conversation about the power of tech as a driver of economic growth and opportunity. With some 13,000 tech companies employing over 209,000 workers in Massachusetts, the tech sector has not only the scale, but also the growth potential to really push the needle on both. Add in the jobs that support this thriving sector, and tech underpins about a fifth of the workforce and a quarter of the wages paid in Massachusetts.
We’ve briefed republican candidate Charlie Baker, democratic candidate Martha Coakley, and independent candidates Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick separately on the sector and key issues such as talent. Next week, on September 29th, we’ll host these candidates in a Tech and Innovation Candidates Forum at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center – New England to hear their perspectives and priorities as is relates to the tech sector and its impact on economic growth and opportunity in Massachusetts.
We hope to have a strong showing of tech professionals interested in learning first hand which candidate will be the best tech governor and in showing the candidates that the tech sector is vibrant and engaged. The event is free but space is limited and registration is required. Visit www.masstlc.org for more info.
– Tom Hopcroft is the president and CEO of the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC)
Tags: Charlie Baker, Evan Falchuk, Government, Jeff McCormick, Martha Coakley, massachusetts, MassTLC, microsoft, Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center New England, Microsoft New England, Tech and Innovation Candidates Forum, tech tax, technology, Tom Hopcroft