Silicon Slopes Summit: Gov. Cox praises tech industry

Sep 30, 2022, 12:23 PM | Updated: 4:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox praised the tech industry for what its doing for the state and called on tech workers to do more Friday, during day two of Silicon Slopes Summit.

Governor Cox was among many speakers, which included Steve Young and a list of tech leaders. Organizers call it one of the largest and most prominent annual tech events in the world and estimate the summit drew more than 20,000 people to Vivint Arena, from both in and outside of Utah.

Governor Cox said Utah is home to 10,000 tech-related businesses and lead the nation last year with 6.5% job growth in the tech industry.

“We need you to keep giving back. We need you to make part of your mission, giving your social capital to lift others,” he said. “I’ve started defining people as builders or destroyers. We need builders now more than ever. I don’t care what politics is. I don’t care where you come from. We need you to build.”

Pro football hall of famer Steve Young also took the stage, drawing on his experience in football and as an entrepreneur.

“We can play victimization. We can point out all the mitigating factors in our lives. Or we can look over the top of it and find the opportunity,” he said.

It’s not all uphill in the industry. Tech leaders and the governor acknowledged challenges, including the state’s unemployment rate, which is the second lowest in the nation.

“I think one of the hurdles is finding good talent. The unemployment rate here is low, the housing costs are high,” Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson said.

Johnson said many are also working through how to meet the needs of employees and their business when it comes to remote work.

“I think finding what the future of work looks like is still something leaders are grappling with,” he said.

The two-day summit began on Thursday and will finish on Friday.

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Silicon Slopes Summit: Gov. Cox praises tech industry