Gov. Steve Sisolak urged technology leaders to consider Nevada as a place for investment and company expansion during CES 2020.
At Wednesday night’s Leaders in Technology Dinner, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, Sisolak spoke to a crowd of business leaders in the technology industry shortly before Pat Brown, CEO and founder of Impossible Foods, took the stage.
Sisolak said a greater focus on technology is bound to have a significant effect on Nevada.
“Technology is the future in our state,” he said. “Technology is penetrating every industry, and in the not-so-distant future, nearly every career field will require at least some knowledge of computer science. Nevada is no exception.”
Nevada’s economy has struggled to diversify in years past. More than 10 years after the Great Recession ended, the state is still best known for two industries: mining and tourism.
Sisolak said technology could help diversify the economy — which would cushion it for future economic downturns — as well as advance industries that are already well established.
The mining industry needs more data scientists to mine more efficiently, more safely and reduce the environmental effects, as well as more programmers to run autonomous mining equipment, according to Sisolak.
As for the tourism industry, Sisolak said hotels are in need of cybersecurity analysts that can make their networks secure, while gaming manufacturers are looking for software engineers to design games that draw in a younger audience.
While the state has made strides in recent years— Sisolak pointed to the state expanding access to computer science programs to over 67 percent of high schools, as well as both the University of Nevada, Reno and UNLV’s designation as top-tier research universities — it still has room to grow.
”I encourage you to take a second look at our state as a place to put down roots, to invest and to further help us further our goals to diversify our workforce and attract high-paying jobs,” Sisolak told the crowd. “Just like you, we’re a state made up of dreamers. … ‘Impossible’ is not in our vocabulary, unless it’s with meat.”