It's that time again!
The past few years, I've had the privilege of attending Act | The App Association's AppCon fly-in. AppCon is an opportunity for me (Chris) to represent the interests of small to midsize tech companies throughout the United States. These companies are part of the near Trillion Dollar app economy that has radically changed how humans consume information and interact with the world around them.
Large companies often have armies of lawyers and lobbyists helping push their agenda in DC. Small to Mid-size companies like Sigao (and many of our clients) can't afford the type of representation we need to help push legislation critical to our success. That's where the app association comes in play. They provide a voice in DC to companies like Sigao.
During the fly-in, I will join companies throughout the US, and two others from Birmingham (MotionMobs and SPENDiD) to talk with our elected representatives on topics such as CS Education and the CS workforce crisis, the spread of broadband to rural areas in the US, privacy standards, and more. These topics are critical to a successful, sustainable, and growable economy, and impact small businesses throughout the United States.
So what do we talk about?
One of the core topics we address is the huge gap between tech jobs and people that are qualified to fill them. The app economy employs more than 4.7 million Americans. According to the State of the App Economy report, we are on track to add another 440,000 new computing jobs by 2024, but we currently have over 500,000 unfilled computing jobs. With 503,000 unfilled jobs, we currently have 8 available jobs for every graduate. We have to resolve this issue and it will take a variety of efforts to solve, many of which need legislative and executive branch support to make happen.
With the growing tech economy, access to broadband is necessary to interact with the growing global tech ecosystem. But, in the US many citizens do not have access to effective broadband internet. Over 800,000 people in Alabama do not have access to high-speed internet. This means over 800,000 people are missing out on things such as telemedicine, IoT innovation, and more. This is a huge problem, without an easy solution. The solutions that do exist require political support to push.
There are more issues we address, but these are two that are close to me and are a large part of the message I share when I have the opportunity to meet with our politicians. It is why I am eager to get back to DC, and why it is important for companies in Birmingham to be represented at this event.
Want to learn more? Here is a podcast episode produced by The App Association that focuses on the upcoming AppCon 19!