Business Initiative Seeks to Bring High-Paying, High-Tech Jobs to Rural Iowa

Des Moines Register writer Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Sunday’s paper that, “Microsoft’s Kevin Scott understands the limits teenagers face growing up in a place where cows outnumber people and opportunities for tech careers are limited.”

“‘I faced a hard choice: I wanted to stay in Virginia — I wanted to stay there with my friends and family — but if I wanted to pursue a career in technology, I had to leave,’ Scott said Saturday.

The Microsoft chief technology officer and nearly a dozen Silicon Valley executives want to change that.”

The article stated that, “They’re joining a business and small-town partnership to bring high-paying, high-tech jobs to rural Iowa. If successful, leaders want to replicate the initiative in other rural towns and states, creating opportunities in regions being emptied of jobs and people.

“Scott, LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue, venture capitalist Greg Sands, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and others spent Saturday in rural Iowa learning about Pillar Technology’s initiative to provide intensive training for students who could then land high-paying tech jobs at the company’s office in Jefferson, a town of 4,200.”

Ms. Eller indicated that, “Startup founders and CEOs have found ‘an opportunity and want to grow but simply can’t find the people to do the job — at nearly any price,’ said Sands, a Minneapolis native.

Iowa and other flyover states can help fill that workforce need.”

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